OpenBook API

Ready to get started? Sign up for a developer account with OpenBook API and indicate you are a BookSmash developer by checking the “BookSmash Challenge Participant” box. Make sure you’ve read the documentation and agree to the API Terms of Use. Please note that the OpenBook API is intended for personal and noncommercial use only, as the API includes full access to works from select authors that cannot be distributed publicly without HarperCollins’ written approval.

For a list of the full works provided by participating authors, as well as the authors' social media info, author pages, Wikipedia page, check out the Author Innovator spreadsheet.

After the close of the competition, you may apply for an extended key, allowing you to continue to work with the OpenBook API.

Author Innovators

The following authors have agreed to give BookSmash developers even more to work with by making their full works available via the BookSmash Challenge version of the OpenBook API. This content is currently for development related to the BookSmash Challenge only and all rights will remain with the authors. Additionally, since the OpenBook API includes content that you cannot distribute publicly, your submitted app must not be made available to the public via the web or online store and no author content may be used or posted online outside of your BookSmash Challenge entry.

Participating authors are also providing social media info, author pages, Wikipedia page, and more for you to integrate into your app as you see fit. This data can be found in the Author Innovator spreadsheet, which also includes a list of the full works provided by each author.

Participating Author Innovators include:

  • Rob Bell
  • Ian Douglas
  • Debra Driza
  • Peter Drucker
  • Bruce Feiler
  • Jeaniene Frost
  • Michelle Gagnon
  • Kim Harrison
  • Eloisa James
  • Richard Kadrey
  • Karen Le Billon
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Sarah MacLean
  • Julia Quinn
  • James Rollins
  • Tina Seelig
  • Katie Sise
  • Kat Von D
  • Dan Wells

Additional APIs

Don’t forget that you’re welcome to use additional APIs, SDKs, and datasets in your app as long as you have the rights to do so, and also include the OpenBook API. Here are some APIs, SDKs, and datasets you might want to use.

HarperCollins App Idea Bank

HarperCollins is asking you to think about apps for books and reading in a new light. Here are a few app ideas to help you break the binding and get your creative juices flowing.

Reading Experience App Ideas

  • A reading experience where readers can annotate the book they are reading and share their notes with others
  • A reading experience that lets readers pose questions to the author inline and lets the author respond
  • A reading experience that lets readers post experiential context to the a particular passage, chapter, or book
  • A reading experience that weaves different books together based on some common thread
  • An enriched reading experience that links book content to other internet based content via APIs
  • A live and/or recorded “reading room” or book club experience

Book Discovery App Ideas

  • Apps that suggest books by the context of the book you are reading
  • Apps that recommend books based by word frequency within the title

Current Out-of-the-Box Reading Apps

  • NY Times Snow Fall – A browser-based digital storytelling app
  • Tapestry – A beautifully simple tappable story app
  • Versu, By Linden Research, Inc – An interactive reading app where readers become the characters
  • The Waste Land, by TouchPress – An ipad app that brings alive the most revolutionary poem of the last 100 years for a 21st Century audience
  • Poems By Heart from Penguin Classics, by Penguin Group USA – A memorisation game that will challenge you with classic poems from master wordsmiths
  • The Room, by Fireproof Games – A physical puzzler, wrapped in a mystery game, inside a beautifully tactile 3D world
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore – An experiential digital storytelling app
  • iPoe – An interactive app for the works of Edgar Allan Poe

Submission video tips

Aside from your actual app, your submission video is one of the most important pieces of your submission. In fact, it’s often one of the first, and sometimes only, things that judges and voters view. Make a great first impression by following these tips on what to include:

Include a step-by-step demo. Demonstrate your technology’s key functionality and features by walking through your app’s features via screencast or video footage of the app working on an appropriate device. While audio isn’t required, narration or text bubbles can help judges and voters understand and appreciate your technology.

Keep it simple. As per the official rules, your video shouldn’t be longer than five minutes. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Don’t wait until the last minute to upload your video. Keep in mind that the time it takes to upload/process a video on YouTube or Vimeo varies greatly depending on the format of your original video, file size, upload traffic, Internet connection speed, and could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or more.

Don’t know much about making videos? Check out these helpful screencasting tools.

More Questions?

If you have questions about the OpenBook API, check out the OpenBook API Developer Forum. For questions about The BookSmash Challenge, email