Callaway and Martha Stewart’s Digital Publishing Deal

Callaway Digital Arts, a publisher of iPad apps, is partnering with Martha Stewart to create apps based on her products. Instead of text-only ebooks, CDA creates interactive, multimedia digital applications specifically designed for Apple’s iPad.

The first iPad app to come out of the new partnership, Martha Stewart Makes Cookies, is available in the Apple App Store now. It includes 50 recipes, instructional videos, baking tips, packaging ideas, kitchen timers, shopping lists, sharing options, and an array of search features.

CDA also recently announced $6 million in financing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ iFund, which will go toward building multimedia production studios.

“Callaway Digital Arts is one of the very few interactive publishers to fully understand and exploit the iPad’s transformative capabilities as a publishing platform,” said John Doerr, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “Callaway stands out as a leader for its artistically beautiful and addictive iPad apps, as well as the pipeline of high-quality content owners it has lined up as partners.”

The company has already had success with its applications based on the Miss Spider series of children’s books, Miss Spider’s Tea Party (for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) and Miss Spider’s Bedtime Story (for the iPad).

It’s really interesting to see how the success of Apple’s iPad, which was only released back in April, has influenced publishing. CDA and are producing multimedia apps based on books, while Amazon has updated their Kindle app for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch to allow audio and video. Penguin also recently published a Pillars of the Earth app that contained video from the Starz miniseries.

In an interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Nick Callaway said, “Print publishers must reinvent themselves. It’s not enough to just port text over to digital. It won’t satisfy the next generation of consumers. We’re hitching the old book world knowledge to new media marketing and analytics. Through data mining and direct contact with consumers we can observe what consumers want and revise content to taste. This is the publishing of the future.”

I think there will always be a place for text-only books, but I do see his point—especially for children’s books and non-fiction books like cookbooks. What do you think about this trend? Are multimedia apps the future of publishing?

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

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