(Note: This is the first blog in a series that will discuss the evolution of multimedia eBooks and how artists can learn the skills necessary to compete in this creative new world of digital immersion.)
There are many “no brainer” questions in the world, but “why an eBook” has to be one of the all-time slam-dunks. Before eBooks there was the world of what I like to call “imagination stress.” Of course, as an author and publisher, I understand that creativity is an ingredient that cannot be replaced. If a story sucks, it sucks whether it’s in digital format or in an “old school” paper book.
Technology Must Work for the Reader
However, stress was always a factor inside a conventional book. Not only was it stressful to physically turn pages, take notes, and read the print size (not to mention the case of the blind who needed “special Braille formatted books”), it was stressful developing a vocabulary that could take-in all the imagery being carefully crafted by the author. Don’t get me wrong. I was a Professor of English for many years, so I understand the importance of a reader’s “labor” to gain the skills necessary to understand and appreciate the hard work done by an intelligent creative author. It’s just that I also know that technology can work for the reader or it can work against the reader, and today’s digital technology must work to assist the reader and make the “experience” of reading more entertaining and even—yes—more artistic.
The Interactive eBook
The facts are that digital books are outselling paper books. Not only that, but independent authors are learning the skills to compete with their “big publishing” counterparts, thus creating a bold new paradigm in the reading experience. What is this paradigm? It is what I like to call the “interactive eBook.” This paradigm shift has already happened in the Children’s eBook world. And, as in the previous reader world of paper comic books, wherein children enjoyed color, art and action, so too are today’s children flocking to experience the tactile and multi-sensory engagement of the interactive eBook. Therefore, if today’s authors are to compete in the new world of interactive eBooks, they must also learn the skills to enhance or, as we like to call it at EMRE Publishing, “embellish” their craft for the new audience now being created in the children’s book world.
In a recent Wired article, the author makes a point of saying publishers must “become multimedia companies.” That means they must learn how to add media enhancements to all of their digital products or face ultimate failure in the marketplace. We at EMRE Publishing have made it our singular goal to train and to provide the skills these independent publishers need to compete in this changing world of digital competition. No matter how much we may try to believe readers will remain in the old world of “sensory stress,” the fact is that they want the immersive power that their mobile platforms provide, and we want to help our clients become the artists who can provide the content for this Brave New Multimedia World.