Sourcebooks has developed an app that will create customized picture books on the iPad. The Put Me in the Story book platform, which has a patent pending, personalizes interactive picture books for children by allowing consumers to insert a child’s name and photographed image into the app, thus fully integrating the child into the story line.
Put Me in the Story is officially launching on Tuesday, with three Sourcebooks titles: Marianne Richmond’s two books, The Night Night Book and If I Could Keep You Little, plus Dream Big Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi. While the app makes the child front and center in If I Could Keep You Little and Night Night, he or she is embedded Dream Big Little Pig as Poppy’s best friend. A new book will be added to the Put Me in the Story line each month, with that number increasing to two “at some point.”
The app is free through Apple as is Sourcebooks’ first Put Me in the Story release, The Night Night Book. Additional books in the app will be priced at $4.99. Sourcebooks has also partnered with Ingram to print and fulfill the customized books for $29.99 each.
“There’s nothing more special than bedtime reading,” Sourcebooks founder Dominique Raccah told PW. “The question was, could we make that an even more creative experience? We took great stories people already love and added a magical element: you. It builds an amazing bond between parent and child.”
Not only can parents personalize the story by inserting the child’s name and photograph, but they can also manipulate background animation and sound effects through the app, which includes a daytime/nighttime sensor. And Put Me In the Story can be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
The app also includes two options: “Read to Me” or “Read by Myself,” which will enable early readers to proceed at their own pace.
Put Me In the Story has been in development for about four years, Raccah said, and follows last month's release of enhanced e-book editions of Shakespeare’s plays in The Shakesperience. “It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done," Raccah said of Put Me In the Story. “I’ve been waiting for a long time to get this off the ground."