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View Full Version : Hard copy bells and whistles we'd like to see



Another Editor
01-06-2012, 10:08 AM
This article (http://publishingperspectives.com/2012/01/can-experimentation-help-print-compete-with-digital/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PublishingPerspectives+%28Pub lishing+Perspectives%29&utm_content=Google+Reader) suggests the possibility of publishers competing with electronic book formats by offering more than just plain books. The article does not list very much in the way of possibilities, even though this is a very interesting idea. Boxed sets, CD-ROMs (not the best idea considering that the music industry is abandoning this format soon (http://perezhilton.com/2011-11-01-compact-discs-cd-ending-2012#.TwWkAlYert0)), and fancy covers were the only things that the article and its comment section could come up with.

What are some fancy or exciting additions that you would like to see made to the good old fashioned book, that the e-book experience cannot provide?

Williebee
01-06-2012, 10:19 AM
Sell me the new book as a package-- one purchase gets me all currently available formats.
Forex, I buy the hardback, I also get a download code for the ebook and the audiobook.

Later, if there is a movie, package the DVD with a copy of the book.

Add separate liner notes from the author and artists, if applicable. The "story of the story". Discarded bits and trivia, for example.

mscelina
01-06-2012, 10:22 AM
That the e-book CANNOT provide?

There's no such critter. The e-book, due to the nature of its technological form, is more readily amenable to interactive capabilities than a trade-published book. There are already audio books available for many trade titles. In fact, to be very frank, the just plain hardback/paperback book is the ONLY thing that an e-book can't provide. There adherents to both paper and electronic books, and most of the nay-sayers to e-books cite the tangible aspects of paper books as the reasons they won't switch to e-books: the smell of the book, the feel of the cover, turning the pages, how it looks on shelves...et cetera. So in my mind, trade publishers would be pretty stupid to try and compete with the e-book and all the possible bells and whistles that we can do with digital literature. If they want to recoup lost profits, they'd be better off making the pricing of their e-books more competitive and in making their e-books as high quality as their paper books. Because right now? Readers who might be drawn to fill up their Kindles with big time bestselling books are turned off by the over-priced and under-developed digital products the big houses are turning out.

Just my two cents.

Darkarma
01-06-2012, 10:24 AM
Black and leather bound with embossed magical diagrams like that which I'll have in my book. Kind of like my signature.

Cliff Face
01-06-2012, 01:46 PM
Scratch and sniff.

KellyAssauer
01-06-2012, 03:00 PM
That the e-book CANNOT provide?

... and most of the nay-sayers to e-books cite the tangible aspects of paper books as the reasons they won't switch to e-books: the smell of the book, the feel of the cover, turning the pages, how it looks on shelves...et cetera.

Okay, I'll deviate from 'most' for ya:

Typically, the e-book requires an e-book reader. This has traditionally been a smallish hand held electronic devise. It's not cheap. They can be dropped, broken, stolen, lost, spilled upon, quickly outdated, or fall victim to any of a host of other issues inherent to the modern consumer electronic device conspicuous consumption market.

A physical book does none of this. They don't become unreadable because of an outdated OS. They don't have any trouble being read because company-x decided to use encrypted subscripts. They don't require a thousand dollar desktop computer and a blistering quick hundred buck a month service provider bill. The ebook provides nothing to me... but the promise of continued payments.

When I purchase a physical book, the monetary bleeding is over and there's a fair chance I'll never need to buy it again.
It's a pretty good deal as it is.

JimmyB27
01-06-2012, 03:14 PM
Sell me the new book as a package-- one purchase gets me all currently available formats.
Forex, I buy the hardback, I also get a download code for the ebook and the audiobook.
If they did this, I would buy an eReader tomorrow.
Not so fussed about the audiobook, but I would like to have the ebook + hard copy without having to pay twice.

BunnyMaz
01-06-2012, 03:57 PM
Possibly not going to work for all genres but what about taking some cues from the games industry for sweeteners? The mister buys almost all of his games from Steam... except when a special edition version comes out including some little treats. I know plenty of gamers love getting decent fold-out maps to pin up on the wall, bonus art, nice containers (STALKER came in a gorgeous little tin). Honestly, as a sci-fi and fantasy reader, map posters or a couple of pieces of bonus art would tempt me.

Then again, I don't own an ereader and am pretty much a paperback reader anyway, but I'd pay a few bob extra for a nice special edition with extras like that.

EDIT
Also, what KellyAssauer said.

Jess Haines
01-07-2012, 12:53 AM
Sell me the new book as a package-- one purchase gets me all currently available formats.
Forex, I buy the hardback, I also get a download code for the ebook and the audiobook.

Later, if there is a movie, package the DVD with a copy of the book.

Add separate liner notes from the author and artists, if applicable. The "story of the story". Discarded bits and trivia, for example.

This. :e2point:

I would so buy a package of the book/DVD if I didn't already own the novel. That sounds like a freaking fantastic idea.

I also love the idea of being able to download the ebook after purchasing a hard copy. Either for free or at a discounted price.


Okay, I'll deviate from 'most' for ya:

Typically, the e-book requires an e-book reader. This has traditionally been a smallish hand held electronic devise. It's not cheap. They can be dropped, broken, stolen, lost, spilled upon, quickly outdated, or fall victim to any of a host of other issues inherent to the modern consumer electronic device conspicuous consumption market.

A physical book does none of this. They don't become unreadable because of an outdated OS. They don't have any trouble being read because company-x decided to use encrypted subscripts. They don't require a thousand dollar desktop computer and a blistering quick hundred buck a month service provider bill. The ebook provides nothing to me... but the promise of continued payments.

When I purchase a physical book, the monetary bleeding is over and there's a fair chance I'll never need to buy it again.
It's a pretty good deal as it is.

I'd just like to point out that you can download most of these ereader programs so that you can read the books on your computer, your smartphone, your tablet, etc, for free. Some sites (Smashwords, for example) allow you to download a version in PDF, HTML, or even plain text so you don't have to worry about DRM or an outdated OS.

I have my Nook and Kindle software on my phone and PC, as well as an actual Kindle that I tote around in my purse. It's pretty darned difficult to "lose" an ebook right now--though I can see where it might be a problem a few years down the line...

Then again, most of the ebooks I purchase are ones I intend to read only once or twice. Books I love and intend to keep around for a while or want to lend to friends (including ones I originally purchased as ebooks) I also buy as paperbacks.

BeatrixKiddo
01-07-2012, 03:36 AM
Sell me the new book as a package-- one purchase gets me all currently available formats.
Forex, I buy the hardback, I also get a download code for the ebook and the audiobook.

Later, if there is a movie, package the DVD with a copy of the book.

Add separate liner notes from the author and artists, if applicable. The "story of the story". Discarded bits and trivia, for example.

I like that.


Scratch and sniff.

I like that too.

Put both suggestions together and we're gold.

Button
01-07-2012, 07:05 PM
OMG there's such potential!

Interactive pages, like they're doing with children's books. Imagine reading Harry Potter and in the middle of a scene with Peeves, you see a ghost pop out of the corner of your e-reader and throw a tomato at your screen. You have to "wipe the screen" to get it off.

I've thought about the interactive story games like the hidden object games for Nancy Drew and others. Imagine having the touch interactive part and you could piece together puzzles in a completely different dynamic.

Imagine if books came with images within the story that came to life? Or you hear the raindrops when the rain is falling around your characters? How many endless possibilities could there be to help breathe some additional fun into books?

JimmyB27
01-07-2012, 07:12 PM
OMG there's such potential!

Interactive pages, like they're doing with children's books. Imagine reading Harry Potter and in the middle of a scene with Peeves, you see a ghost pop out of the corner of your e-reader and throw a tomato at your screen. You have to "wipe the screen" to get it off.
Well, we're actually talking about 'hard copy' extras, not ebooks. And, anyway, I think stuff like that would annoy the shit out of me.


Imagine if books came with images within the story that came to life? Or you hear the raindrops when the rain is falling around your characters? How many endless possibilities could there be to help breathe some additional fun into books?
That would be great! Maybe you wouldn't even need to read, you could have moving pictures and the characters could say their own lines and you'd have sound effects. An eReader screen might be a bit small though, so maybe you could have a special box in the corner of the living room to show these special talking, moving books.

;)

Al Stevens
01-07-2012, 07:49 PM
E-book technology has potentially few limits, but an e-publisher is indeed limited to the lowest common denominator. And that is the $79 Kindle. It is monochrome, so illustrations must be legible in that format, and it has relatively narrow margins, which limits tabular and code presentations. The Kindle is limited to the fonts it will display, too.

Here's what the Smashwords Style Guide says about images:



Smashwords supports charts and images, but here we do less well. Page breaks may appear where you don’t expect them, or images may not appear in the exact position you wanted them, or the image that looks great in your manuscript may not look so great on the Amazon Kindle. In other words, unpredictable things might happen.


So, what can a print book edition do better? Use striking color graphics, for one thing. Display complex tables, for another.


Of course, come back next year, and most of this will probably have changed. :)

KellyAssauer
01-07-2012, 09:46 PM
Imagine if books came with images within the story that came to life? Or you hear the raindrops when the rain is falling around your characters?

That could be the last thing ever imagined from a book...

;)

lastlittlebird
01-07-2012, 10:31 PM
Possibly not going to work for all genres but what about taking some cues from the games industry for sweeteners? The mister buys almost all of his games from Steam... except when a special edition version comes out including some little treats. I know plenty of gamers love getting decent fold-out maps to pin up on the wall, bonus art, nice containers (STALKER came in a gorgeous little tin). Honestly, as a sci-fi and fantasy reader, map posters or a couple of pieces of bonus art would tempt me.

Then again, I don't own an ereader and am pretty much a paperback reader anyway, but I'd pay a few bob extra for a nice special edition with extras like that.

EDIT
Also, what KellyAssauer said.

This. I'm a sucker for bonus bits of art. And I love maps.

I also think bonus bits from the writer could work as well. Someone already said something similar to director's commentary might work. Maybe in an audio format? (of course, there's no reason that couldn't be included with e-book form as well).

I guess when it comes down to it, gimmicks can be fun, but I think generally they should just have a really nice version of the book.
I worked in a bookstore for a while and some of the LOTR editions we had were gorgeous.
I would have a cheap edition available for people who just prefer to hold a book, and a lavish (but still not too expensive) version for people who like collecting books.
Like paperback vs hardback, but going a bit further than they usually do with the hardback.

L.J.
01-07-2012, 10:36 PM
Okay, I'll deviate from 'most' for ya:

Typically, the e-book requires an e-book reader. This has traditionally been a smallish hand held electronic devise. It's not cheap. They can be dropped, broken, stolen, lost, spilled upon, quickly outdated, or fall victim to any of a host of other issues inherent to the modern consumer electronic device conspicuous consumption market.

A physical book does none of this. They don't become unreadable because of an outdated OS. They don't have any trouble being read because company-x decided to use encrypted subscripts. They don't require a thousand dollar desktop computer and a blistering quick hundred buck a month service provider bill. The ebook provides nothing to me... but the promise of continued payments.

When I purchase a physical book, the monetary bleeding is over and there's a fair chance I'll never need to buy it again.
It's a pretty good deal as it is.

I agree.

Xelebes
01-07-2012, 10:38 PM
E-Book:

Buy if space is a premium. That is, you lack the space to store hardcopies.


Hardcopy:

Buy if space is not a premium. That is, if you have lots of storage space like bookshelves and boxes.


Simple, really.

Al Stevens
01-07-2012, 10:40 PM
Elaborate pop-up books.

http://www.google.com/search?q=pop+up+books&hl=en&prmd=imvnsb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=EpEIT53MBpTrtgfn0enQBg&sqi=2&ved=0CF4QsAQ&biw=1178&bih=550

Paper dolls. Punch-out patterns.