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July 2012

Ebooks & Multiple PoV's - Sky's the Limit

Last week I mentioned Lise Quintana, a writer and entrepreneur who’s developing an app that will support ebooks with multiple viewpoints.

 

Think of televised sporting events, where you can change the camera angle. Quintana wants to do the same thing with books, for an unheard of level of storyworld immersion. You’ll be able to read the main character’s point of view, then the dad’s, then the dog’s, and then the talking can opener’s point of view.

 

“You’ll be able to read the same book over and over, and get a different experience every time,” says Quintana.

 

With digital publishing, she says, you can create “enormous, epic, self-referential works that fold in on themselves...You can actually follow a character just like in real life and see what they are doing. When you put the book down, the story world continues.”

 

So how does that change the story?

 

I would guess that stories will start to become huge collaborations between many different writers – because what writer is going to write all those POVs, and stay with one story for that long? I know I’d get sick of it after a while, and be eager to move onto my next story.

 

That’s not the only change Quintana sees. In this bigger, richer story, the reader gets to make choices about the story. She can even have some impact on the story, in some ways. We’re talking interactive story worlds again, which I’m too old-school to understand or appreciate right now. But I’ll post on it in the future.

 

And if the Dear Reader has an impact on the story... the writer is losing control over her creation.

 

Yeah, I don’t love the sound of that either. But perhaps that's one of the directions we're headed in, and I’m wondering how to embrace that.

 

thanks to Douglas Crets for his post which inspired this one.


When Is Paper A Must-Have?

Pop up book

 

Lise Quintana is a writer, techie and entrepreneur. She’s currently developing an app that will support ebooks with multiple viewpoints “in big, epic ways”. I’ll say more about her app in a future post.

 

For now, I’m intrigued by what Quintana thinks about the future of publishing.

 

“There will come a time when you'll need to have a reason to publish on paper,” says Quintana. “Pop-up books, for example, can only be on paper. They can’t exist electronically. In the future, books will have to have [that kind of substantial] reason for being printed on paper.”

 

That got me thinking about reasons for paper books. Which books will still beg to be published on paper, when ebooks are more and more accepted?

 

Some book lovers and industry watchers think that picture books will always be in paper format. The argument goes: who wants to curl up with a child on your lap – and a Kindle in one hand? Kind of destroys the whole experience. No more long, slow, suspenseful page turn. And if the book has audio, that competes with the parent/reader acting out the roles.

 

But apparently, a growing number of others like the convenience of ebooks, as sales for children’s ebooks show.

 

Different market segments may insist on paper books. I’ve seen reports that teens still want very much to own physical books, and it will be interesting to see if that continues to hold true.

 

Book clubs may insist on paper copies. The book club experience is about hanging out with friends and food, and tablets don’t necessarily add to that ambiance.

 

I’m guessing there will be market segments of non-adopters. Readers who just never get on board with ebooks and tablets, because of age, or access to technology, or other reasons.

 

What types of books do you think beg to be printed on paper?  

 

 


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