I have a dilemma regarding ebook publishing. I am a seasoned graphic designer/illustrator trying to break into the kidlit industry with an author/illustrator picture book.
I'd just begun sending out dummies of my book to potential agents when I was contacted by a publishing company specializing exclusively in ebook apps for the iPad. They had seen my work at a regional SCBWI event and wanted me to submit any manuscripts/dummies I happened to have for their review and possible acceptance. They went on, in that initial conversation, to say that if the app sold large numbers, it would make it potentially appealing to traditional publishers.
That's probably true. But what are the chances of it selling in large numbers? That's the question.
I'm a total noob at this (a key reason I was seeking an agent!) and don't want to miss the chance of my book being something really wonderful. Although I'm not afraid to embrace new technologies, I believe traditional publishing is better for many reasons. I know a good editor is worth her weight in gold and can do to a good MS what a good Art Director can do with a bunch of disparate pieces of art and copy.
Here's the question. If I submit to this app publisher, and they accept and publish my PB, will that completely shoot down any chances of it getting published as a traditional, printed book? Should I just stick it out and see what turns up with my submissions to agents?
If you think that your book is going to change significantly in the editing and design process, then you probably don't want to publish it as an app first.
If you do decide to publish your book as an app, don't hand over your creative property to someone unless they can show you an app they've done before that you think is cool. Lots and lots of people are trying to make apps. Some of them suck at it. Be warned.