Enhanced eBooks could entice a new generation of readers

Is it a book? Is it a film? Is it a game? Or all three? Publishers and authors at the world’s biggest book fair are battling to entice a new generation of readers with the latest multimedia products, AFP reports. That the electronic book reader has turned the book industry on its head is well known—but talk of the “eBook” that has dominated Germany’s Frankfurt Book Fair in recent years has given way in 2010 to excited chatter about the so-called “enhanced eBook,” a mixture of the traditional book, audio, video, and game. “In five years, books will be more often cross-media products, with embedded sound, animated pictures, internet links, and … possibly a gaming component, like alternative reality games,” said Juliane Schulze, from peacefulfish, a consultancy. Some of the book world’s most celebrated names are already embracing the new format. Ken Follett, one of the industry’s hottest authors, is expected to present a “multimedia-enhanced” version of his bestseller “The Pillars of the Earth” at this year’s fair. At the touch of a screen, iPad readers of the “book” can see excerpts from the TV series based on the book, watch interviews with the author and actors, and track interactions between characters on an “interactive character tree”…

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Laura Ascione

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