Thursday, April 19, 2012

Enhanced E-Books

What exactly are enhanced e-books? Well, there are different answers to that question. It would seem to mean that something has been added or improved. But that "something" varies and is developing.

A U.K.-based design firm is taking Frankenstein and making the book interactive. Readers will be able to "brake and steer and maybe look under the hood." Not sure exactly what that will look like.

The YA book, Chopsticks, will allow readers to "flip through a photo album, watch video clips, listen to the favorite songs of the book’s characters, see their instant messages. You even can consume the book in shuffle mode–that’s right, you’re able to change the order of content."

Books are going multi-media with videos. There are even companies making books more "literary Farmville." Readers can vote to flesh out characters and storylines - and get access "to secret chapters if they encourage friends to read the book."

How will this change books? Is it still a book if you are watching videos, altering the characters and story line? If a cookbook recipe takes you ten minutes to read the recipe, but 35 minutes to watch the video, is it more a television show than a book?


  1. Wow, Helen. Once again, you've posted a great article. I share the question of "when does a book change to something else?"

    I've often thought of adding a suggested playlist to go along with my stories. Not the actual songs, just a suggestion of certain inspirational music to go along with particular scenes.

    Then, of course, I realized that others reading my work might not hear the same music in their head when reading the story as I did when I wrote it. So much for interactivity.

  2. I like the thought of enhanced ebooks and that also opens the door to whether or not you want to make your book a book app ... so many choices.

  3. I can't keep up. I'm still debating an e-reader. How do you do it??

  4. The choices make me dizzy! I hope I never have to format something like that!

  5. Next, they will be including commercials into the "interactive" book. The thing I enjoy about reading a printed book is that there is no busyness, nothing to distract you like all the constant stimulation of a television or video screen. It seems that the entertainment industry is constantly looking for ways to make it easy for us, rather than letting us use our own minds to picture what the words are telling us.
    Definitely not for me.

  6. Very depressing, must I join in with my children's books, I wonder. :0(

  7. JL, they would hear that music if you embedded it into the e-book!

    LM, how would you make your book an app? That's an interesting idea.

    Yvonne, at this point, I'm just reporting it -- not doing it.

    You and me both Laura.

    Ann, commercials will come. A few years ago, folks were writing books that were sponsored by, let's say, Lexus. So the cars in the books were Lexus cars, etc.

    I hear you Carole Anne. There are already children's interactive books. They will grow up expecting it.

  8. With a novel, I prefer to just read. But I have several magazine subscriptions that are all interactive on my iPad and that's where the feature really shines.

  9. Alex, can you see that happening to a book on your iPad -- and loving it?

  10. Hi Helen. This was discussed at a recent e-book workshop I attended. It will be very useful for school text e-books but there was a general consensus that all these links take a reader out of the story which is the last thing a writer wants to do.


  11. If it weren't for sites like this, I'd have no idea what the heck is going on out there ... hmmmm, I wonder if I'd be better off not knowing?

  12. Christopher, you are better off knowing. Would you rather get whacked upside the head without warning -- or know it's coming so you can duck?

    Denise, for myself, I would agree with you. I'd rather stay in the story. But I think the generation after me, my own kids, would be fine with apps embedded and other distractions. They've grown up on computer games and apps.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...