Launch of a Welsh Books App
5 Aug 2013
Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, launched the new Welsh Books App (Ap Llyfrau Cymru) at the Welsh Government’s stand on the Denbigh National Eisteddfod field on Monday, 5 August.
This is the next step in the process of increasing the digital provision of books from Wales; it follows in the wake of a scheme set up last year in order to ensure a selection of e-books in both English and Wales.
“To date, there are over 750 e-books on the Gwales website,” said Phil Davies, the Welsh Books Council’s Director of Information and Promotion. “The next natural next step for the Council is to build on the increase in demand for Welsh-language Apps and help the publishers to provide electronic titles that have a richer content.”
With support from the Welsh Government, the Books Council has been working in conjunction with Yudu, a company that specialises in the field, and four publishers from Wales – Atebol, CAA/Centre for Educational Studies, Graffeg and Y Lolfa – who are taking part in the initial pilot scheme.
With the launch of Ap Llyfrau Cymru / Welsh Books App, other publishers will be given an opportunity to join the scheme, with readers downloading the App free of charge, then paying for individual titles.
It was decided to invest in a system which allows publishers to create ambitious titles to sell through the App at a reasonable price, with the income produced being invested to develop and maintain the scheme.
There will be three elements to the scheme, with an App being initially offered through the App Store for use on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, which will be followed by an Android version available through Google Play for use on a number of other devices and a Web version which will be offered through the Gwales website and on the publishers’ own websites.
In welcoming this exciting development, Carwyn Jones said: “In order for the Welsh language to thrive in the digital age, it’s essential that Welsh language technology and digital media is readily available.
“The Welsh Book Council and publishers in Wales have a key role to play in ensuring that there are more opportunities for people to use the language. We are pleased to have been able to support the development of this new App, which builds on the success of gwales.com and responds to the increased demand for Welsh-language digital content, including e-books.”
A Welsh Books App was created in conjunction with the Welsh-language version (Ap Llyfrau Cymru), and it will contain the same selection of titles in both English and Welsh. This will enable users to enjoy the experience in their own choice of language.
John Griffiths, the Welsh Minister for Culture and Sport added: “It’s vital that we use new technology to promote Welsh books, in both languages, in order to attract new readers in particular children and young adults.
“The launch of this App, which has been developed with support from the Welsh Government through the Welsh Book Council, is an important and welcome contribution in the process of increasing the provision of Welsh digital books.”