Books are no more crinkled yellow pages and crawling fingers over black ink. They are digital – moving, live and loud. To keep up with the digital times, publishers have turned into e-publishers and books have become e-books. It’s not easy to keep up with the flickering interest of this budding generation. Multimedia is faster, more visually appealing and hence more connecting. But, does that mean we bid good bye to the scribbled stories?
Not really, if you go by the word of e-publishers. Their frantic efforts to keep pace with the digitized world is turning even more creative and innovative. To capture the interest of the mobile generation, e-publishers are introducing pay-by-chapter downloads, animated characters, moving pictures and thunder/lightening effects to infuse life into their drab black texts.
While we have enough of teasing when a new blockbuster movie is about to release, e-publishers as well as authors have started rolling out enticing trailers for their books too. They are captivating and undeniably give an edge of excitement to the book. We may safely say, a good trailer is worth a thousand copies sold. Chetan Bhagat released a textual trailer for ‘Half-Girlfriend’ two years back but now we can see how the bar is going up with a visually captivating trailer of ‘The Heir’ released earlier this year.
Another exciting development, pay-by-chapter downloads have been introduced in India as a result of a tie-up between Westland and Bangalore’s mobile publisher Dailyhunt. Amish Tripathi’s best-seller Shiva trilogy will now be available in chapter format. This means that the buyer can buy individual chapters of the book instead of investing in a whole book. A reasonable price of Rs 15 per chapter will be lucrative for the audience while at the same time, it will tease the audience for long. “India too is a price-sensitive market, so letting readers ‘try out’ a book instead of paying for the whole book, will make it more ‘accessible’,” says Tripathi.
While the retail sale of books stands at 1%, the readers of e-books are on a rise and efforts are being taken to enhance the book content to publicize and market it intensively.
Creative mobile apps like ‘Unbound’ by Harper Collins have become an easy fix to make e-books more interactive with animated characters, blooming to life words along with audio-read features. Apart from making it more visually appealing, it connects the readers more intrinsically with the story. This is especially true with children books which are required to be extremely catchy and captivating to keep the young minds hooked. As a result, a lot of publishers are adapting and accepting new ways to make readers read.
Times will always change and evolve. To evolve with them creatively is what innovators have always done. e-publishers and authors have realized the right train to catch and its no wonder the readership is on a rise. If not on crinkled, yellow paper then on hollow white space.