Random House UK has launched new “enchanced” ebooks–ebooks with extras such as author interviews, photos, videos, games, quizzes, interactive graphics, and the option to listen to or read the text at the start of each chapter. The enhanced ebooks include both children’s and YA titles, and adult titles.
Two enchanced children’s/YA books are Jacqueline Wilson’s My Sister Jodie, where readers can play a ‘catch the ghosts’ game or take a quiz to find out if they are a ‘good girl’ or a ‘rebel’; and Markus Zustak’s The Book Thief, where readers can decide whether to read or listen to the book at the beginning of each chapter.
At first glance, I didn’t think we needed things like games or videos added onto an ebook. But many paper books already have various bonus materials such as author interviews, photos, book group discussions, and more–and I think they can sometimes help sell a book, with readers liking getting additional features, and helping to compete with CDs, DVDs, etc. So…now I’m thinking it’s neat idea. And if it all ties into the book, it’s more good promotion for books and reading, as well as that particular book. So…maybe it’s a good thing. A neat thing.
Still, I wish that ebook prices would come down a lot more. Publishers don’t have the costs to produce them that paper books cost, and ebooks are NOT the same as holding and reading a paper book (which I prefer). I think they should be half the price of a paper book, max. So if they continue to add bonus features but don’t raise the price, that’s great. But if they lower the price, I’m more likely to buy. Can we have both?
What do you think?
Thanks to Thecreativepenn on Twitter for the link.