First Interactive Children’s Novel for iBooks, Johnny & Doomsday Machine

By on Oct 9, 2013 at 8:18 am

Los Angeles, California – iBooks has just released, through Apple’s iTunes store, David Titcher’s comic-adventure “Johnny and the Doomsday Machine”, the first interactive kids’ novel in the iBook format. The book is exclusive to iBooks and cannot be viewed in any other format. It is seen by some as a test of the viability of this new format. Titcher is most known for his screenplays for such movies as “Around the World in 80 Days” (starring Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger), the teenage cult film “Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home” (starring Jon Cryer), “The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb”, and the enormously popular “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear” (starring Noah Wyle and Bob Newhart), for which he was nominated for both a Saturn Award and a Writers’ Guild of America Award. Titcher’s writing background also includes work on such kids’ shows as “Punky Brewster” and “Who’s the Boss,” as well as such Disney animated shows as “The Little Mermaid” and “Darkwing Duck.” With this new interactive book, Titcher has now returned to his roots in writing for kids.

Perfect for kids of all ages, “Johnny and the Doomsday Machine” details the adventures of Johnny Fremont, a 12-year-old Indiana Jones who has been training his entire life to save the world. After escaping from an incredibly boring middle school field trip, the adventure pairs him with Azelia, the girl he most hates in the world. It takes him from Albert Einstein’s house, where he uncovers Einstein’s greatest secret, to Morocco, where he has to escape an entire army of bad guys, and finally to London, where he must face down the ten most ruthless men the world has ever seen and stop them from destroying the world with a doomsday machine. Fully demonstrating the revolutionary capacities of the new iBook format, the novel features educational quizzes (with immediate feedback), humorous picture galleries, clever animation that was created specifically for the book, and even opens with a fun film of Albert Einstein personally welcoming the reader to the book. These interactive elements help bring the story to life and merge with the text to create a truly immersive and unique experience that cannot be duplicated in any other format. Apple’s iBooks Author has so far mainly been used in Textbooks, exhibiting its exciting and engaging interactive features but without a narrative paired to them. “Johnny and the Doomsday Machine” flips this on its head utilizing the interactive features like quizzes, animations, videos and games, to enrich and further the story, bringing the reader along for the ride with them. This helps to turn the normally passive reading experience into one that’s a fully active and participatory one. Titcher’s hope is that this will enthrall readers and help children and adults alike to experience the story in a way they never could before.

Now that LAUSD and libraries around the country are adapting to the iPad revolution and research is showing that interactive elements help children retain what they are learning and more fully engage them in the story, Titcher felt that this was the perfect time to introduce all this great technology to the world of fiction. He was excited to create a unique immersive experience that fully utilized all the benefits of the iPad and the new media. Embedded in many chapters are quizzes on both the material in the book and other educational opportunities. Taking into account the three main types of learners, the book includes visual quizzes, some text-based reading quizzes, and some audio components. Titcher keeps a lighthearted tone to the story, interspersing entertaining videos and a unique narrator, so that kids will have fun while they are learning.

Apple’s iBook Author, released just over a year ago, allows writers to easily interject active, dynamic, and moving elements for the first time in the history of literature. Many other platforms, including Amazon’s Kindle, and Barnes and Noble’s Nook, only allow for plain text and, in some cases, images. Apple’s revolutionary advance has helped to actually bring books to life and updated for the 21st century. In an information age where things change minute to minute and where data is king, having accurate and dynamic information is essential. Apple’s iBook Author has, up to now, mainly been used for textbooks to allow them to teach to a new generation that has grown up with the ability to have easily available information for them to manipulate. However, this concept has not yet been brought to fiction. Titcher thinks it is particularly suited for the fairy tales of the next generation and is excited to be a part of this venture. He hopes that “Johnny and the Doomsday Machine” helps grow the platform and his future novels in the Johnny series will introduce even more revolutionary interactive elements.

Readers can get their copy in iTunes through the iBookstore. As of now, the book can only be experienced on the iPad. However, by the end of October, it will be able to be read on a Mac computer as well, with the Mac OS Software Update. Select readers will be able to obtain a free copy utilizing the promotional codes upon request by clicking “Redeem” at the iTunes store and entering the promotional code.

Device Requirements:
* Compatible for iPad
* Requires iOS 5.1 or later
* Requires iBooks 3.0 or later
* 166 Pages

Pricing and Availability:
Johnny and the Doomsday Machine is available exclusively through the iBookstore and iTunes available worldwide for $3.99 or a free sample chapter. Promo codes are available on request.

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Johnny and the Doomsday Machine
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Writeur Films is a digital new media company focusing on films and digital books with “Johnny and the Doomsday Machine” being it’s first entrance into the iBook platform. Copyright (C) 2013 Writeur Films. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, iPod touch, and Mac are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.