Book Apps: A Handy Definition

Part of a series to introduce each genre, written by the category chair.

Look! In your lap! Is it an ebook? Is it a talking book?
Is it a movie? No, it really isn’t any of those. You poke it! You shake
it! You tilt it! What could this be? Ohhhhh, you say, this is a BOOK APP!

Book apps are stand-alone applications on a touchscreen device like the iPad that combine features of books, audiobooks, ebooks, animation and video creating a unique experience for readers of all ages. Book apps have been developed for the youngest children – transposing Sandra Boynton’s classic board books into a book app; but they have also been developed for advanced YA readers, integrating text, video and images into an interactive experience.

The best book apps
engage readers as they enter a story world or explore a nonfiction
topic. The reader plays an active part in the experience, turning pages,
triggering animation, tapping characters, solving puzzles.  The
interactive features must build on the overall reading experience and
not distract readers from the main flow. Each element of the app must draw the reader into the story world or nonfiction topic.

Once again, we will be evaluating book apps on iPads from the iTunes App
Store, so all nominations must be available for the iPad, even if they
are also available on other platforms. This is because we cannot ask
judges to have access to a multitude of devices, and the iPad is still
the most prevalent device.

As with all Cybils nominations, the book apps must be published between October 16, 2011 and October 15, 2012. That means the app
must be originally released after October 16, 2011 – we aren’t looking
at when updates occurred, only the original release. If you aren’t sure
of the initial release date, you can check

–Mary Ann Scheuer

Go to the 2012 Cybils nomination form.