Global demand for English language digital children’s books is high, according to Lyle Underkoffler, VP, Digital Media at Disney Publishing Worldwide. Underkoffler addressed Disney’s children’s book apps in a session at the O’Reilly “Tools of Change” conference called “Hard Lessons Learned from Selling Children’s eBooks Online”
Interestingly, Underkoffler said that Disney’s best selling children’s eBooks have been out of print for more than 15 years. “There is pent up demand for content that you can’t get,” he said.
When making an app, Underkoffler recommends keeping it simple. “Simple wins,” he said. “It’s about not overengineering and not using everything available to you.”
Underkoffler said that publishers should try to sell to both the buyer and the user — the parent and the kid. “You should have different selling messages for both,” he said.
Disney hasn’t seen any cannibalization in the digital channel, in fact, digital has only helped increase overall sales. “If you are a good content creator and you can distribute in more fashions, more of an audience will see it and more of that audience will buy it,” he said.