Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Random House Introduces Enhanced eBooks

Canada's National Post has word of a new development in eBooks that I find very interesting. Random House is releasing ten ebooks that have special features similar to those found on enhanced music CDs and DVDs. The catch is that the features do not work on any of today's eBook readers and no company seems ready to admit that they are developing an eReader that will be able to take advantage of the new-style eBooks. So, for now, these particular eBook volumes will have to be read from a desk computer or laptop, something I'm not sure that I would do unless the enhancements are very, very special.

From National Post:
The initiative, called Book and Beyond, launched yesterday. The ten titles in the series so far includes Lee Child's Nothing to Lose, which is packaged with an animated graphic novel and Markus Zusak's The Book Thief, which gives the reader the option to listen or read the book as each chapter begins. The memoir of the Canadian metal band Anvil is also available, complete with a video interview with the band, and an enhanced version of an currently un-named Irving Welsh book is in the planning. What they do with that one could be interesting.
This could really be fun. Imagine, for instance, reading Nick Hornby's High Fidelity in an enhanced eBook version that includes music from the record shop or debut novels that include interviews to introduce readers to new authors. Historical novels could be packaged with photographs, audio clips, and newspaper clippings from the time. The ideas are limitless.

Interestingly enough, a quick check of the internet indicates that the ten enhanced titles are now available in the U.K. but I have not found the same type link for purchase in the U.S. Perhaps the company is testing the market in the U.K. before making similar titles available in this country - or, just as likely, I overlooked a link.

1 comment:

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