Book app signing and other tales at the Children’s books Fair in Montreuil (Paris)

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a small swarm of kids around Dominique Maes

So, we’re finally back from the Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse SeineSaintDenis , one of the major children’s books fair in France. We had a stand for the very first time there and got an amazing experience. We had some lovely encounters with children, parents, teachers, librarians and other professionals.

Dominique Maes himself enjoyed spending time on our small stand! We have pictures of him surrounded by a small swarm of kids that depict it much better than I could do with words. It was really sweet.

We observed a few boys READING the book. I use capital letters here because how many times have I read here and there that boys don’t read, don’t like reading?! Countless! Well, one of them came to us, his cap strongly screwed on his head. He declined my offer to use headphones and started reading “All my Love (for You)”. After quite a few minutes, his head slowly came up. He was grinning like he had discovered something huge and told me in a whisper “oh, it’s a love story”. I could hardly say much more and start dissecting all the treasures hidden in the book.

Boy reading an ebook - All my Love (for You) by Dominique Maes - Paris Children's books fair 2013 - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Digital reading!

We actually had both boys and girls from different ages (app. 5 to 10 years-old) who immersed themselves completely in the book and “came back”, taking off the headphones, with a dreamy smile on their lips.

We also used multi headphone splitters for the first time and saw parents sharing the book app with their child in this crowded environment. This was really magic! We simply didn’t think of taking pictures. Yes, sometimes you feel like it’s a private moment. A private moment in a public space that doesn’t necessarily need to be witnessed by strangers on the internet 😉

In addition, we also had very promising, fruitful discussions with a few artists and publishers. No doubts, we could feel a slow change of minds towards digital books. Artists and publishers who used to be strongly averse to digital publishing eyed Dominique Maes’ book app with great interest.

Last but not least… as suggested in the title, we’ve tested book signing within the app… well, how to describe this?! We had shot a small video prior to the fair, which you can watch on youtube if you want a snapshot of it.

Only Dominique can edit the page enabling the book signing by using three fingerprints and a secret password that only he and the developer know. Yes indeed, they didn’t put me (e.g. the publisher) in the confidence, the rascals!

Then, he can add one of the stamps designed for the occasion and sign the book with a stylus. The stroke probably is a little uncertain now but give him a few months to feel as confident as British artist David Hockney 😉

Digital book signing - Dominique Maes - All my Love (for You) - book app available on the App Store toute-premiere-dedicace-num copy

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A peaceful journey

AllMyLoveForYou-DominiqueMaes-kids-app-peaceful-journey-luftballoonIn a fragile economic context – in which (kids) apps have to come free or heavily discounted to the consumer – I’m not sure that everyone is aware of the amount of work and creativity required to make an app in general and “All my Love (for You)” in particular…

Ouch, this is an introduction that sounds like the beginning of an opinion piece!

It’s not. Indeed, I would have then chosen a more provocative title… with double entendre – e.g. “When you’re passionate (s), you do not count” – and a more rhetorical style.

But no, no… it’s not the objective of this post. I will allow myself to quote Dominique Maes who has once again found the right words to describe our collaboration: “A peaceful journey.” Because it is indeed a journey into the text, in the form, in the process of creation and communication.

AllMyLoveForYou-DominiqueMaes-kids-app-peaceful-journey-head-in-cloudsThis is an ambitious journey (and maybe a little megalomaniac at time) which requires thoughtful preparations and permanent care. Nothing laborious but a careful work and attention to details that require the ability to challenge  and re-invent oneself. Hundred times on the job, back to work! And forward, always forward because “All my Love (for You)” is an artwork in constant expansion.

And that’s what we did last Sunday between the pear and cheese … we gathered our small team together: Dominique himself, the iOS developer, the little hand working on photoshop (me) as well as mini – and adult – testers …

Dominique discovered then his latest illustrations installed in the application (do not look for them, they are being developed and therefore still hidden). We saw him nod, take notes and rub his hands … And here, we should have been wary of  those tell-tale signs… because, when opening our mailbox this morning, it was a bit like he had not slept a wink since Sunday! Indeed, we’ve just received his notes and new artworks that will further enhance the book app.

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So, you should soon be able to discover the new pages of the book. We will keep you informed of the events very quickly…

Indeed, it is a journey that we would like to continue in pleasant company, in your company. This is why we try to let you know of the work-in-progress but also to engage in a dialogue with you through this blog and our Facebook page.

We look forward to hearing from you as well!

1.4

Today is St-Dominic’s day and we have been quite pleased to learn that Apple had accepted the update of Dominique Maes’s book app only a couple of days after its submission!

So, the version 1.4 of “All my Love (for You)” is available on the App Store and I can now tell you a little more about the changes we made in it!

We have added a couple of very exciting new functionalities. You can :

* record your own narration from within the “Parents” section accessible via the ⓘ symbol present on the cover page.

add pictures in the tree trunk on page 12 of the storybook.

All my Love (for You) - book app for kids by Dominique Maes - CotCotCot-apps.com

Tree Trunk’s little people: Add your pictures in the tree trunk on page 12

* and send small hearts to neighboring devices via Bluetooth but sssh, we’ll write a post on it in a few days.

Among smaller corrections, we have also:

increased the font size of the text because some of you complained that the letters sometimes blurred on first generation iPads and iPhones.

updated the Privacy Badge (in the parents section) designed by Moms With Apps but here again we’ll tell you a little more about this initiative because you family’s privacy and safety is something we take very seriously.

– and finally fixed tiny bugs you probably didn’t notice but made our in-house developer mad 😉

We look forward to your feedback!

All my Love for You - a new book app for kids by Belgian children's author-illustrator now available on the App Store