Thursday, May 19, 2011

Interactive Ebook Wish List Addendum

A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Tech Talk and the Active Ebook

The illustrious J.A. Konrath just gave his wish list for an enhanced eBook. I think it sounded pretty cool, but here are perhaps some other feminine touches, or perhaps features for other genres.

I want access to the places that inspired the novel. Perhaps eat at THAT restaurant the characters ate at. Maybe even a vehicle to meet up with other readers at the places in the book. Think of what Twilight has done for Forks, WA. It's literary Yelp.

One of my favorite things to do when I read a book is to look up concepts that are unfamiliar to me. Especially in regency romances that I read. A user generated "bonus" material could be an awesome addition. In addition to the fan fic, some people just like to research the crap out of behind-the-scenes stuff. Make it easy for readers to submit their own commentaries or explanations of the prose much like the fandom worlds of Harry Potter and Jane Austen already do. In the enhanced version, a reader can click or select a hyperlink that goes to hidden additional information somewhere in the file that they can close. An interactive literary commentary that grows.

Starring me. I play RPG games. One of the funnest things to do is change the name of the characters. With a push of a button, I can change the name of any character I want. Maybe the male lead is named Ken and my ex-boyfriend who stole $500 from me was named Ken. Presto, changeo, he's now named Johnathan, a guy at my work who is hot as can be and doesn't know I exist. :)

Behind-the-scenes footage: I would love to see the apartment pictures and other materials that inspired the novel.

Tweets, messages, emails, either from the characters today, or maybe behind the scene stuff between the characters. Additional content that makes me smile and reminds me of that great book I read, and might even re-read tonight after dinner and the kids are in bed. This could even be timed so that the message is really embedded in the novel's original file, but time released. So everyone who buys the novel, 6 months after purchase, an update on the main character pops up. "Real-time epilogue."

Fashion advice/what a character would wear. For specific types of characters that a reader "wants to be" it would be great. Might not work with the thriller genre.

Real-time chat or maybe temporary message area where I can send out messages to people reading the book right now. Not so crazy about the scheduled reading thing. I have kids. Scheduled chats aren't easy for everyone. But say I was reading at 5:17 PM EST and could write "OMG, just laughed my butt off at chapter 4" and a little message pops up and says "Wait until Chapter 6. I was rolling." No names etc. just temporary messaging back and forth. I don't want to "meet people" as I'm reading, but happy to go to the forum after I read if I want to make new friends.

Links to all of the cool web pages for the book's universe (especially established series etc.) so I don't have to search my book marks and remember where I archived that cool fan site under again?

Recipes the characters cook. Especially if it's like a fantasy book and a made up meal, or even a contemporary book where they go out for ethnic food. I read about curry all the time in British literature, no clue how to make it. I know there are recipes online, but once I'm done with a book, I forget and don't think to research later. If the author has a favorite recipe in the book or favorite band, I want to know. Some authors have even written suggested playlists for chapters, and with things like Grooveshark and other streaming services, it would be easy for a reader to "listen along."

I want to be able to pick my own selection of "x" number of words to send to my girlfriend. Why? Because she will find that part hilarious and it's what will make her buy the book.

"CANCELLED" arriving Late Summer 2011. A robotics engineer asks his business partner to marry him, but a previous one-night stand is having his baby.

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