Friday, October 2, 2009

Digital Books . . . Enhanced!

Friday, October 2, 2009
E-books. Digital books. Whatever you want to call them. Whether you love them or hate them or just don't bother because you'd rather hold a print book in hand (like me), there's no denying they are here to stay. Not only that, they're probably the wave of the future, along with audio books, and other electronic mediums that I don't even understand.

Even Disney's on the bandwagon, although after seeing this new site, I venture to say they're leading the parade. I don't even have kids and I think the new Disney Digital Book site is pretty darn cool. Look at just some of what it offers...

*Enjoy 500+ new and classic Disney books.
*Click to hear words pronounced.
*See definitions using the built-in dictionary.
*Be immersed in Look and Listen stories with voices and sound effects.
*Use Story-Builder to create Disney stories.

Uh. Wow. Imagine if all publishers start offering bells and whistles digital sites. Imagine the possibilities for the romance genre, the thriller and mystery genre. Are your wheels turning? I know mine are.

More and more, day by day, I see the younger generations opting to spend their leisure time on their computer, cell phone, PDA, and other various gizmos. Heck. What am I saying? Even my generation is obsessed. Not so much me, but I'm a techno-goober. Even so, I could lose myself on a romance bells and whistles digital site. A fantastic read enhanced with interactive bonus material? Interactions with characters? Sexy, romantic or action-oriented illustrations? Music soundtracks? I'm there!

Or at least I would be if such a site existed. I'm betting there'll be one in the next few years.

Actually, now that I think about it, I've heard New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon's website is an interactive dream. Just hopped over there. Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about. Imagine if a publishing site did something like that for several featured books?

Okay. This just in. (I actually wrote this post two days ago and ran across this new announcement yesterday). Simon & Schuster is introducing something called the Vook.

With a vook you can:
• Read your book
• Watch videos that highlight key moments in the story
• View visual how-to’s
• Connect with authors and other readers

One of of their initial releases, a mix of fiction and non-fiction includes “Promises,” a romantic novella by the best-selling author Jude Deveraux. Even this techno-goober is intrigued.

Check out Simon & Schuster's Vooks, Keynon's site and the Disney Digital Book site then please come back and share your thoughts. It's a whole new world.


Barb said...

Great topic, Beth!

I love the interactive sites but I'm still extremely torn on digital books. As a writer that is aspiring to be published, it just seems very anti-climatic not to be able to see ones works in print on a shelf. I know that E is the way of now and the future and I have purchased digital books but I don't enjoy them nearly as much as books in print. The writing is just as good but digital takes the warmth out of it.

I check out Disney's site. No big surprise there...they're always top notch. Can't wait to check out Kenyon's as she is one of my faves!

SIS Barb

Olga said...

I like e-books and agree they are here to stay, but this is the first time ever I hear about a vook. Sounds intriguing!

B.J. said...

Hi Beth, I checked out the Disney site. Your right, it is cool. The girls might like this for Christmas.

Tori Lennox said...

Ebooks might be great if you're traveling and want to take a bunch of books with you, but I'd rather have a hard copy in my hands to read normally.

Beth Ciotta said...

Barb, I felt the same way. I wanted to see my stories in print. Indeed seeing them on a book store's shelf, or even better, a reader's hands, is a huge rush. I think that's the old fashioned sentimental part of us. We grew up loving, admiring, and respecting 'books'--as in standard print books. I mean they've been around for eons.

But part of me thinks I'd get the same thrill if I heard from multitudes of readers who loved my stories--even if they were reading them electronically.

That said, I truly am intrigued with some of these new enhanced digital reads. Check out the Vooks at S&S!

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

Olga, I agree. Vooks look really interesting. This coming week, I'm going to try to purchase the Jude Devereaux novella. I'll let you know what I think.

SIS Beth

Beth Ciotta said...

BJ, I think you're right. I think the girls would probably love a subscription to those Disney digital books. Entertaining AND educational. :)

Tori, I'm with you. I prefer a hard copy. That said, I'm growing more and more intrigued with the Kindle or Sony Reader. Anyone here have one. Thoughts?

SIS Beth

Elle J Rossi said...

Okay, I checked out the Vook and I can admit that it's pretty cool and something I amy enjoy. But here's my question...How do you get comfortable reading in bed with a laptop? And what if you don't have a laptop? Who wants to sit at a desk to read a book? I really do understand that digital is taking over and I'm trying to get completely on board but sometimes I just don't get it.

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

Beth Ciotta said...


I think that's why e-readers are becoming so popular. I've held a Kindle. It's light, thin, and about the size of a trade paperback. Basically, it's like holding a book only you're not turning pages. Not the conventional way anyhow. As long as there's sufficent backlighting (I'm not sure about that), it would be perfect for bed and a comfy corner of the couch.

That said, Kindles and Sony Readers aren't cheap. Although they are a lot less than a laptop. Don't know if you can view Vook on an e-reader. I'll have to look into that.

Anyhoo, just keeping an open mind to change. *g*

SIS Beth

Richard said...

Like the idea of "Vooks" -- have to check that out. But, although a lover of the "old" hand-held version, I have made exceptions (especially when I had a day-gig running a press, which requires VERY little interaction with co-workers, overall) in the vein of Audiobooks. No better way to pass a 10-hour workday (or a lengthy roadtrip) than listening to a great novel. With two VERY important criteria I hold to: 1) it MUST be an UNEXPURGATED recording -- I have NO love for "Reader's Digest" versions of books; and 2) if POSSIBLE, the actual author is the one who is reading the book -- a GREAT way to gather insight to the mind of an artist. Plus, it's nice to have little bits of "tone music" to spice things up, as most Audiobooks include.

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