The Digital Book World Conference & Expo currently held at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers in New York is the largest conference on the future of publishing in the American publishing industry. Part of the opening ceremonies of the conference is the announcement of the winners of the Publishing Innovation Awards which are awarded in 14 categories (including five app categories). This year, the Wormworld Saga App won the PIA in the "comics and graphic novel apps" category.
The PIA is a very young award that was inaugurated in 2011. However, it can without doubt already be considered an important industry award because the dramatic changes of the publishing landscape are also very young. The Digital Book World Conference & Expo hosts a long list of talks and workshops on digital publishing and distribution. All major American publishers attend the show and nowhere else will you find more answers to the question how publishing will look in a few years.
The judges of the PIA seem to think that the Wormworld Saga App is among these answers. One of my goals with this whole project is to present new ways of interaction between the reader and my work. I'm also trying to explore new relationships between readers and authors. Digital comics currently are dominated by big corporations who seem to think that a "digital comic" merely means to scan in your print product and sell it for the same price digitally. The progress of digital comics is hindered by the big comic publisher's fear of damaging the traditional print market. This is completely understandable and for you as a comic reader it simply means that, for the time being, you don't need to turn to the big comic publishers to find innovation.
So, if you happen to ask yourself how publishing might look like in a few years from now, have a look at these facts about the Wormworld Saga App:
- it was NOT published by a major comic publisher
- all rights are completely creator-owned
- the main content is completely available for free
- purchases are encouraged through special paid content
- the initial investment was completely crowdfunded by fans
I'm very happy about this award but this doesn't mean that I'm going to sit back now. I have big plans for the future of the Wormworld Saga App. We are planning to introduce a very cool new feature with the release of Chapter 3 in a few months and I've already got a huge list of ideas how the app could be improved beyond that. Obviously we are trying to bring the app to more platforms. The Android version should be ready very soon and I'm thinking a lot about new ways to make the special features of the app accessible to as many people as possible. Many of my ideas need time and resources which both are very limited for me at the moment. But I'm dedicated to expand the project as much as is managable for me without compromising the quality of the story.
I want to close this blog post with a bow to the fans who have supported the creation of the Wormworld Saga App. This is your award, too! And my thanks also go to the great guys at Robot Media who developed a wonderful app that hopefully will be enjoyed by lot of people in the years to come.