Enhanced books are truly amazing. It seems like everyday a new kind of enhancement is announced or shown off. Videos and images can be embedded or made to pop up, text can be hyperlinked, music can be played, table of contents and indexes can be reinvented and repurposed. But while it’s fascinating to see what can be done, we need to ask ourselves should it be done. Developers can build just about anything, because they’re such a talented bunch, but that doesn’t mean the reader wants it in their e-book.
This is why it seemed like a good time to devote one of our conferences to enhancements and apps. Tech Forum West will do just that this fall.
Peter Meyers (A New Kind of Book) will open the conference with his talk, Breaking the Page without Hurting the Reader. He’ll take us on a skeptic’s tour of all that’s possible and pinpoints which digital ingredients make for a great reading experience.
When publishers consider creating an enhanced book they need to make informed decisions. Which enhancements make the e-book better? Which ones disrupt the narrative experience or annoy the reader?
Thinking through whether a manuscript can benefit from an enhanced format should happen as early as possible. And Peter’s session will help editors, publishers, production managers and developers understand how to approach enhancing books by not only considering the content but also the devices and context.