Cat-Nav: The developers’ view

We’ve recommended around 200 iStory titles since we first began putting together our stylish, elegant and free-to-download Cat-Nav discovery app at the end of last year.

Thousands of satisfied customers have now downloaded Cat-Nav and we continue to get great feedback about both our reviews and the app itself. We’re absolutely delighted that it is shaping up into an invaluable addition to the collection of any discerning lovers of interactive iStory apps.

So Cat-Nav is a big hit with our customers. But what do other developers and publishers – the companies whose work we critique week in, week out – think to the app?

We decided to ask them.

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To boldly go …

We’re big fans of science fiction (and split infinitives) at Persian Cat Press.

Having grown up with the work of such visionary writers as Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Philip K Dick, and then later far-sighted directors like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott, we have a deep and abiding love for the science fiction genre in both literature and film.

While many science fiction narratives are set in a glittering future of teleporters, robots and faster-than-light travel, the very best science fiction – on the page or on the screen – has as much to say about the way we live today as the ways we might be living in the future.

We’re already addressing the genre with our forthcoming Solarized graphic novel, but we’re also now looking for original work that fits into the broad science fiction genre for an extraordinary and exciting new Persian Cat Press project.

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Cat-Nav developments

Prompted by Joshua Douglas-Walton moving on to work on the script for our forthcoming graphic novel app Solarized full time, Hull-based playwright, “writer of stuff” and iPad Dad Dave Windass has joined the Cat-Nav reviewing team.

Dave, along with Mina Dixon, will guide you to the very best apps available in the App Store / iTunes with a series of weekly recommendations for the free-to-download discovery app.

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More coverage for The Gift

As The Gift: An Interactive Storybook continues to sell well in the App Store and iTunes, it’s also getting some exciting coverage from press and media all around the world.

Our Creative Director Jos Carlyle did a fascinating interview with Joe Wikert, chair of Tools of Change at O’Reilly Media Inc, about what goes into the creation of a successful book ahead of her appearance at the Bologna Tools of Change for Publishing conference in March. You can watch the interview below.

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Young Adult authors: Call for submissions

It’s impossible to complete projects as complex and varied as Persian Cat Press apps solely with ‘in-house’ talent – fantastic though our dazzlingly talented staff members are.

With apps that encompass everything from scriptwriting, illustration, songwriting and music production to typography, animation, narration and game design, sometimes the skills we need simply have to be sourced from elsewhere.

Our first app The Gift: An Interactive Storybook, for example, involved no less than six separate creative teams working on the project simultaneously.

While we always have a very clear idea of the direction we want to go with our apps, we welcome the fresh perspectives and new ideas that creative partners from outside the company can bring.

So we’re thrilled to be able to announce that we are beginning to put together an exciting new Persian Cat Press project and we need some help in bringing it to fruition.

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Content, creation and curation

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is one of the most high profile events in the publishing calendar, gathering together some very talented people with a passionate interest in producing great reading experiences for kids.

This year the main festival at Bologna was prefaced by O’Reilly Media’s Tools of Change for Publishing conference and our Creative Director Jos was invited to give a presentation about interactive storytelling.

Jos’ speech seemed to go down particularly well, with Italian journalist Ivan Rachieli describing it as “uno splendido intervento” on the Apogeonline website.

Here is Jos’ speech in full:

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Presenting the future

We’re delighted to announce that our Creative Director Jos Carlyle and Managing Director Martin David will be representing Persian Cat Press at the Bologna Tools of Change for Publishing Conference.

TOC Bologna is put together by our friends at O’Reilly Media in conjunction with Bologna Children’s Book Fair and starts this coming weekend.

Jos is speaking as an invited guest at TOC Bologna and will be discussing interactive storytelling and the changing ways in which information is being received by today’s audiences and how that might change in the future. She’ll also be talking about our experiences producing our first app, The Gift: An Interactive Storybook.

You can read more detail on Jos’ presentation here.

As Jos says, “With touchscreen technology, and the demand for ‘on demand’, we have multiple senses, multiple screens, multiple strands, all occurring simultaneously and being absorbed at breakneck speeds.”

“What do we do about this? How do we control this? Where are the common standards? And why do we need to start bringing industry barriers down?”

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Making Lite work of The Gift

We’re fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a high level of engagement with our customers via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook (we’re working on Google+ and Pinterest, please bear with us) and this continues to be absolutely invaluable in terms of refining and focusing what we do still further.

It’s a direct result of this ongoing conversation that we’ve produced no less than two new versions of The Gift – and also renamed it The Gift: An Interactive Storybook.

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Cat-Nav: How to guarantee an enthusiastic app review

Our stylish, informative and free-to-download Cat-Nav discovery app has proved to be a big hit with discerning iStory fans all around the world.

Persian Cat Press Marketing & PR Manager Sean Smith is responsible for commissioning the reviews on Cat-Nav, and here he talks about the thinking behind it.

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