The e-books that are also referred to as e-journals, e-editions, eBooks, e-books, or digital books. Before hitting Ebook App Development, let us have a brief history of the e-book concept.
As stated by Wikipedia, the concept of an e-reader emerged first in 1930 and was invented in 1971 by American writer Michael S. Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg (oldest digital library). The first e-reader was “The Rocket eBook,” introduced around 1998, that used an LCD screen and stored up to ten e-books.
The Rocket eBook, the first commercial e-reader, could not gain enough public acceptance. In 2006, Sony came up with Sony Reader, followed by Amazon Kindle. In 2010 Amazon online bookseller reported e-books sales outnumbered sales of hardcover books, and by 2011 it surpassed its paperback sales in the U.S.
Time-by-time, the amount of e-book reading is increasing, and the reason is growing sales of smartphones and tablets. Besides, people find buying e-books is reasonable, and it increases comfort as they can buy, read on the go with mobile devices. Bookmarking, annotating pages, searching for any book by keywords, etc., Handy features hook readers on the ebook reader app.
Why develop an eBook reader app for iOS and Android devices?
With the growing number of smartphone users among young adults, the market of digital books has also augmented. Since eBook reader apps offer convenient ways to store and read books on mobile devices, its demand has increased manifold.
Furthermore, eBook reader apps allow users to bookmark their reading to continue where they left off in a second. Users can also highlight or save their favorite quote from the book and create a separate repository of quotes from a particular book.
On the other hand, by providing advanced features, such as offline mode, cross-device functionality, gamifications, you can earn loyal users as well as handsome revenue.
Type of eBook apps
Mainly, two types of ebook reader apps are there, and there is a subtle difference between both of them from a user perspective. However, you have to opt for one before starting the Ebook Reading App Development.
<i> Actual ebook reading app
It is a real reader app that allows you to read books in digital formats, including PDF, EPUB, or FB2. The app synchronizes your library and lets you read, highlight, bookmark, and annotate. Moon+ Reader, FBReader, and Cool Reader are the best examples of ebook reader apps.
<ii> App for online ebook stores
This one is amiable for booksellers whose products include digital copies of books. For example, Amazon Kindle, NOOK by Barnes & Noble, Google Play Books, Apple Books, etc. The app lets you choose, download, or stream an ebook from their library on your mobile device.
When you contact a mobile app developer or research on how to build an ebook app, you will notice how the type of app impacts. It decides the app development focus, targeted market, features, functionality, and revenue model.
Start the development journey
For a steadfast development journey of your ebook app, it is advisable to opt for a one-page business model, Lean Canvas. It consists of vital information and enables entrepreneurs to create a workable business model for the app by organizing essential data.
Worth mentioning if you are an author or publisher and want to develop an ebook app like Kindle, the Lean Canvas will look different than an ebook reader app’s Lean Canvas. Both types of apps have both drawbacks and benefits and require research accordingly.
Here we have penned several essential research points to creating an ebook app like Kindle, so let’s get started!
The niche that excites you
When you are setting up your ebook store, you do not have a wide audience. Hence, choose one single potential niche that can captivate many bookworms. Define the niche that tickles your fancy. It can include different genres, from comic books to romance and mystery, thriller, drama, adventure, etc.
Opt for an excellent niche defined by genre, theme, setting, the ethnicity of authors, etc. The potential niche will help you grow your app’s reader community, thereby focusing on multiple niches gradually.
Create reader personas
The app needs to define its target audience to implement the right marketing strategies. And to find out the target audience for an ebook app is more complicated than the other mobile apps. Not only do teens read comics, not only adults read romantics, not all people like historical fiction; some may like literary fiction or fantasy.
So, when you are developing an ebook app like Kindle, conduct thorough research and strive to address the following questions.
- How many bibliophiles preferred reading eBooks?
- How often do they read on the ebook reading app?
- What other apps do they use to read?
- How much money can they spend on reading & buying books?
How would you like your eBook app to make money for you?
Commonly, apps use a freemium model that offers a free app and allows users to make purchases from an in-built book store. Another is to provide a monthly/yearly subscription to allow users to read unlimited on the app.
While many ebook apps like Kindle use a mixed revenue model to make the most out of the app. Kindle lets users read unlimited monthly subscriptions from its particular list of books and magazines. It also keeps traditionally selling books.
Note: If you are not selling your books, you will require to pay a royalty to the author.
Add intuitive features that allure the readers
If you develop an ebook app for Android and iOS, it must have unique features to stand the test of time.
It is an important feature to add to a Kindle-like reading app. Even though you have an online store, you need to have product listings on the app. Keep the listing pattern and design as user-friendly as possible and engaging. Also, strive to keep buying/purchasing, call to action buttons simpler.
Advanced search filter
Use tags based on your niche that can be anything from the genre, author name, book name, rating, etc. These tags help users find what they are looking for effortlessly by entering it into the search engine. Also, add categories the same as the tags per the niche to make the app easy to explore.
With Audio Books, bookworms can enjoy the books on the go with their busy schedule. Thus, it is the most embraced feature by millennials as they can listen to the book even when commuting. However, integrating human voice can be expensive, but you can use text-to-speech as an alternative.
Allow users to manage purchased and downloaded books, magazines, read and unread books with this feature in your ebook app.
Let readers personalize their reading mode on your app with some handy features. These features include bookmarks, navigation, notes, and highlights, font size and type, page adjustment, night mode themes for eyesight safety, background effect, dictionary, etc.
This feature is frequently used to boost user engagement on the app, along with offering different rewards to inspire readers to read more.
Integrating a reliable payment gateway is inevitable to allow users to pay for books and subscriptions online. It should be secured enough to offer protection to users’ financial data.
Many reading apps offer content uploading features, allowing authors to upload their books to receive reviews on the app.
It is good for ebook apps health to integrate social media like Facebook, Twitter, and community like Goodreads options in the app nowadays. Kindle has embedded the Goodreads community. If users’ will, their reviews and ratings can automatically get published to their Goodreads accounts.
How much does it cost to develop an eBook app?
The development cost of any mobile app relies on certain factors and the development team. Let us pull together a virtual team required to develop an eBook app like Kindle.
- Project Manager & Business Analyst to gather project requirements and create specifications or Scope of Work
- UI/UX designer to create an app prototype and design
- Hire Mobile App Developers for each platform, iOS and Android, that build a strong backend structure of the app
- QA specialists to test the app and ensure there are no bugs in the app before launching it.
On average, a mobile app development company takes around 5-6 months to release an MVP for an ebook app like Kindle. The cost to develop an MVP starts from about $15k to $20k and increases with the complexity and a number of features. Furthermore, the development company’s country significantly affects Ebook App Development Costs. For example, the development rate in the USA is likely 50% higher than in India.
All in all, developing an ebook app like Kindle requires a significant investment of time and money both. Despite plenty of ebook apps, your app can still rank high on the app stores with unique features. Being a convenient & flexible way to read and explore new books on the go for readers, ebook stores are likely to grow more in the next few years.
If you want to have a real discussion with an expert project manager for your project requirement, you can contact us. We are ready to assist you and provide outsourced development services for you.