So, What’s an Enhanced eBook Anyway?
By Alina Adams
I don’t know what other girls were reading in Junior High, but my shelves were mostly filled with books by Sidney Sheldon and Belva Plain. I don’t know what other girls were watching in Junior High, but my VCR was set every day for the entire ABC Daytime line-up, starting with Ryan’s Hope, and running through Loving, All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital, and The Edge of Night.
Obviously, this sort of errant childhood was bound to end badly.
Fast-forward twenty years and, in addition to publishing stand-alone romance novels with AVON and DELL, I’m working for Procter & Gamble Productions, writing tie-in books to their two soap operas, As the World Turns and Guiding Light.
Now flash-forward to 2012, and every show on the list above, save General Hospital, is off the air. And Sidney Sheldon and Belva Plain are dead.
However, I, personally, still love romantic family sagas, be they novels or TV shows. Preferably both.
So… why not both?
Let me back up a bit.
The romance novels and figure skating mysteries that I published previously were all paperback originals. They came out between 1996 and 2010, and did what paperback originals do. The were shipped to bookstores, stayed on the shelves for a few months at most, then dropped out of sight. That’s the nature of the business.
Except the business doesn’t have to be that way anymore. With the advent of electronic books, no title ever has to go out of print. And no title ever has to stay mere words.
Coming from a television background, I saw words and video working together to tell a story. And I decided to take all of my previously print-only titles and turn them into enhanced e-books. A.K.A. Books with something extra.
I started with my Figure Skating Mysteries, Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop, and Skate Crime. I got the rights to them back from Berkley, digitized the text, and made a deal with The Ice Theatre of New York to use their video library as the skating being done by my fictional characters. I inserted the video right alongside the text, to create something that wasn’t quite a book, not quite a movie, but rather a 21st Century hybrid.
My next project was my 2000 romance novel, When a Man Loves a Woman. Since the title already came from a Percy Sledge classic, I went a step further and gave each chapter the name of a song that would comment and compliment the action. And then I linked the chapter to that music on-line, so that you could both read and listen as you went along.
My latest endeavor is Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, which I have planned as a series that I will write along with the readers.
The first book, Volume One, came out in April 2012 on Amazon. At the end, there are links to where readers can tell me how they would like the story to proceed. The next book in the series, Volume Two, will incorporate their suggestions, and ask for input towards Volume Three. And so on, and so on, and so…
Even a few years ago, a project like this would have been impossible to undertake due to technological limitations and the sheer amount of time it took to get a new book from the writing to the printing process, not to mention the shipping, distribution, and stocking.
A few weeks ago, I spoke at a meeting of the NY Writers Union. I made the point that just because book can be enhanced, doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be. In addition to enhancing my own backlist, I am also working with other authors, such as Dan Elish, author of the middle grade fantasy novel, The Worldwide Dessert Contest. Dan is not only a writer, he is also a composer. He wrote a musical score to go with his book, and we’ve put it together into The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition.
In Dan’s case, it made sense to go the multimedia route. The same with the skating mysteries, and When a Man Loves a Woman, and Counterpoint. In each case, the story was made better, richer, by the addition of other elements.
It was (I hope) truly enhanced.
Now I can only wait and hope that my readers agree with me!
About the Author
Alina Adams is the New York Times’ best selling author of soap opera tie-ins, figure skating mysteries, and romances, including Annie’s Wild Ride and When a Man Loves a Woman. Her latest project is Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga. In addition to turning her own backlist into enhanced e-books, she has produced enhanced e-books for others, including Dan Elish, whose middle-grade fantasy novel, The Worldwide Dessert Contest, now includes its own original musical score. Learn more at AlinaAdamsMedia.com and Like us on Facebook
Do Enhanced eBooks sound like something you might be interested in? Alina Adams has graciously offered a free copy of her Enhanced eBook, Counterpoint, to one lucky reader! All you have to do is Like her Facebook page then use the Rafflecopter form below!
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