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"Enhanced" books are hitting the market.

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fljustice
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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"Enhanced" books are hitting the market.

Postby fljustice » Thu July 29th, 2010, 7:15 pm

The New York Times has an article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/books/29ebook.html?scp=1&sq=nixonland&st=cse) today about the new "enhanced" books that are coming out - primarily for the iPad. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and Nixonland by Rick Perlstein are two of the books featured in the article. Pillars has clips, photos and music from the Starz miniseries; and Nixonland has clips from CBS news shows including the Nixon-Kennedy debates and an interview with the author. (Full disclosure: my husband produced the CBS video in the Nixonland book.) The article has links to videos showing how the "books" look and what you can do with them. Fascinating stuff. I've seen the ebook vs dead tree book arguments on this and other forums, but this is a whole new ball game. Anyone sampled these kinds of enhanced books? How does it change the reading experience? Authors, are you looking at enhancements for your own books and, if so, what kinds?
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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EC2
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Postby EC2 » Thu July 29th, 2010, 7:29 pm

"fljustice" wrote:The New York Times has an article (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/books/29ebook.html?scp=1&sq=nixonland&st=cse) today about the new "enhanced" books that are coming out - primarily for the iPad. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and Nixonland by Rick Perlstein are two of the books featured in the article. Pillars has clips, photos and music from the Starz miniseries; and Nixonland has clips from CBS news shows including the Nixon-Kennedy debates and an interview with the author. (Full disclosure: my husband produced the CBS video in the Nixonland book.) The article has links to videos showing how the "books" look and what you can do with them. Fascinating stuff. I've seen the ebook vs dead tree book arguments on this and other forums, but this is a whole new ball game. Anyone sampled these kinds of enhanced books? How does it change the reading experience? Authors, are you looking at enhancements for your own books and, if so, what kinds?


Fascinating. I've often thought about this and have expected it to become the reality for some works. In an ideal world I would look to put website content on it, book trailers and comment from the author. We might also go back to the day when illustrations were used routinely in novels for adults. With an application like this, what goes into the content is really only down to the limits of imagination.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Michy
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Location: California

Postby Michy » Thu July 29th, 2010, 8:30 pm

"EC2" wrote:We might also go back to the day when illustrations were used routinely in novels for adults.


Now, that would be quite cool, especially if it were well-done artwork (which I would actually prefer over photos). I love illustrations. :)

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emr
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Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Thu July 29th, 2010, 8:44 pm

I was thinking it could be interesting a mix of ebook and audiobook, that you can read normally but at any point of the book you can switch to audio while you are doing other things. And back, to the exact point where you left it.
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

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Divia
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Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Thu July 29th, 2010, 9:41 pm

"Michy" wrote:Now, that would be quite cool, especially if it were well-done artwork (which I would actually prefer over photos). I love illustrations. :)


love pictures in books. I wish they would go back to it, I really do.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
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Tanzanite
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Postby Tanzanite » Thu July 29th, 2010, 10:32 pm

Something like that might convince me to give ebooks a try...

annis
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Postby annis » Fri July 30th, 2010, 3:48 am

I love the idea of illustrations :) I see this concept of enhancement as a natural development of the way we are already reading (speaking for myself, anyway) I'm constantly flicking to websites which will give me greater background information on a subject which comes up in a book, and looking for pictures and even appropriate music. Whether this is turning me a reader with a sound-bite concentration level may be another issue again--

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fljustice
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Postby fljustice » Fri July 30th, 2010, 5:40 am

"emr" wrote:I was thinking it could be interesting a mix of ebook and audiobook, that you can read normally but at any point of the book you can switch to audio while you are doing other things. And back, to the exact point where you left it.


Oh what an interesting idea. As Elizabeth said, it's only limited by our imagination!
Faith L. Justice, Author Website

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Michy
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Location: California

Postby Michy » Fri July 30th, 2010, 4:07 pm

For me, I am happier with fewer "enhancements;" the reason being that I am a highly distracted reader, already. It takes me a while to be able to settle down and settle into a book, as I keep thinking of things that need to be done and jump up to do them. Or sometimes it's just that my mind wanders and it take me quite a while to turn all that off and finally tune into the book in front of me. I'm afraid that if there were links to other things in a book, I'd never get the book read! Of course, I don't have any plans to buy an e-reader, anyway, so for me it's probably a moot point. I am an old-fashioned devotee of printed books; for those I wouldn't mind at all if nice illustrations made a comeback. However, that is probably about as much distraction as I could handle!

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Matt Phillips
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Postby Matt Phillips » Fri July 30th, 2010, 4:32 pm

I definitely think music would be nice and would add something to an e-book historical novel, especially if a particular song or musical style is mentioned in the text. It's hard to use description to implant in a reader's mind the sounds of a particular piece of music if the reader isn't already familiar with it. You can describe the style and the effect of the music on the characters, but it's hard to conjure the music in the reader's mind the way you might of an image of a setting.

Another option is hyperlinks to further historical information about events, places and people in the novel, if the reader is interested, kind of like the "pop-up" options on many DVDs today (such as HBO's "Rome" and "John Adams.")

What I wonder, though, is whether inclusion of other enhancements such as ambient sounds (a babbling brook, tree boughs stirring in a breeze, birds singing, etc. as a character walks through a forest) might serve as a crutch for a novel that doesn't effectively evoke those sounds, which are arguably easier to convey to the reader through description than music. Same concern about illustrations - doesn't that take away the experience the readers are supposed to have in using the author's words to paint those images in their heads for themselves?


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