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YA Eco Mysteries, Memoirs, Novels & Travel

Enhanced eBooks

It was my privilege to serve on the e-reader panel at the Alabama Book Festival, Montgomery, Alabama,  April 21, 2012.

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The panel was made up of  Alisa McLeod, a librarian, two authors, myself and A. J. Scudiere (fiction - suspense) and the editor  with NewSouth Books. The librarian embraced the new technology and stated that libraries have moved toward encouraging readers to download books from their libraries, and that libraries are giving serious consideration to loaning reading devices to their patrons. The authors were excited about the possibilities offered by Enhanced eBooks—the next frontier in the digital books, which integrate multimedia features such as audio, video, and animation into the text. Ready or not, the explosive growth of eBook sales, together with the rapid adoption of iPads, has prompted publishers to experiment with new types of interactive books. 

A member of the audience voiced his concern about how eBooks would interfere with or spoil the reading experience gained from printed books. The panel responded that as with any technological innovation some Enhanced eBooks are excellent while others are flops (just browse through iBook store’s Enhanced books and you’ll see for yourself). The panel agreed that simply adding enhancements such as video and audio clips to jazz up the book isn't the point. However, if skillfully integrated into a well-written story—fiction or non fiction—enhancements can take the reader to another level. As with any new technology there will be missteps along the way, but also exciting bursts of brilliance that illuminate the way forward. 

I am truly looking forward to the Enhanced eBook edition of the Hare with the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal, which traces his family’s priceless collection of netsuke, Japanese miniature carvings, and their journey through generations of his remarkable family against the backdrop of a tumultuous century. This new Enhanced eBook will include videos of the elegant family homes in Paris and Vienna, and watercolors painted by famous Impressionists especially for the family, and the netsuke themselves—which come to life as if the reader were holding each one in the palm of their hand (available as an Enhanced eBook late summer, 2012).

 Media Mint Publishing has two Enhanced eBooks that integrate videos, shot on location, and of the author revealing the sources that inspired her writing, which enrich and illuminate the reader’s experience: The Adventures of The Sizzling Six: The Living Treasure, young adult eco mystery series, and The Ninth Inheritor: The Extraordinary Journey of a Family and Their Ancient Torah Scroll, a contemporary historical novel (can be purchased as a print book or eBook, the Enhanced eBook will be available May 2012). Please feel free to comment by contacting me at: cldatnow@me.com. Visit: www.mediamint.net for more information on the books.

Thanks to Gail Waller, the Alabama Book Festival Committee and the volunteers for a warm welcome and for all the hard work they put into making the 2012 event a success.