Enhanced Ebooks; Fact or Fiction

I heard this buzz word about a year ago—Enhanced Ebooks. Have you heard of them? Ebooks with links embedded within the text of the story, that take you to online to pictures or more information about a word or scene.

Enhanced Ebooks are supposed to be the natural evolution for ebooks. With cell phones and tablets becoming more than just something to browse the internet with, some feel that future readers will want to look at more than just words when they read a book; they’ll want to see map[s of the fantasy lands their reading, or pictures of what places or characters look like.

Geez, and just when I got the hang of formatting books. I’m a little apprehensive about these books. I can’t add a working ToC to my books, how the hell am I supposed to enhance them with other links? Not only that, but what about the really new writer who decides to go it alone and can’t afford formatting? You know enhanced books are going to bump up those rates.

There is some drawback to enhanced books, especially if you own an early version of Kindle. The first one, from what I’ve gathered, does not support any enhancements. Not a problem now, but if these evolution continues, it could be.

Don’t worry, it’s not going to happen overnight. It will probably start off slow, but as more ebooks are uploaded with these enhancements, it may very well take over. Much like the Kindle did.

You have been warned.

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About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

12 Responses to Enhanced Ebooks; Fact or Fiction

  1. I’m like you. I barely got comfortable with regular formatting and now they’re throwing in stuff beyond my technical know-how.

    Nice, but now I need another circle of experts to embed trailers, clips and other animation.

  2. This is something that I’m not entirely sure about, but from a different perspective. I’m the kind of reader that can be easily distracted with shiny buttons and secret compartments. An enhanced eBook is something I may never get through… A link at the end that takes me to bonus content is another story all together! Bring that on!

  3. Peter Burton says:

    Don’t panic just yet, ladies.

    For the most part, this may be something of a paper tiger along the lines of Y2K.

    The big hang up is, in fiction anyway, most people who want to read a story, want to read a story. Basically an ‘enhanced e-book’ is little more than a web page for a single subject with all the bells and whistles: animation, games, links, pictures, etc…etc.

    As a web programer friend of mine said, “Why in hell would I want to sift through another overdone web page, or another themed My Space page, when all I want to do is read a good story?”

    Very few folks want to dig through a ton of extra crap to get to a story. So, while I’m not saying this could not happen,,, I don’t think it will have much customer appeal in the long run.

    The idea of a story is escapism, and plowing through links, and music, and animations, and on… and on… just doesn’t seem to be the idea of escapism for most people. It’s more like work.

    Technical manuals, and instructional non-fiction being the exception here.

    In fiction, I can see this as becoming a short term fad… but like the convoluted web pages of the early internet, and My space’s sensory overload, I think it will prove to be too much for the average person who only wants to vanish into a good story.

    Too much of a good thing, is still too much.

    • I know it won’t be an over-night thing, but rather, slide in gradually. Thing is, our interpretation of enhanced ebooks could change as well, and remember, the younger generation is all about searching the web.

  4. I think Peter’s mostly right. At least, as a reader, this type of thing doesn’t really interest me. For example, I love maps, but it’s a very rare world that I care to see one. I sort of have all that stuff in my head just from reading the story. I might like to see a link to the author’s website or other books. It also might be fun to see what other’s thought of a particular section or something. But I can do that on Goodreads or Facebook.

    As an author, I’m in the same boat as you, Darke. Floundering wildly. I’ve got the formatting down, but like you, I’m iffy on the TOC. Anything more complicated and I’ll probably throw in the towel.

    I do include links to my other books and to my website. Not sure what else I can accomplish.

    • I’ve noticed a lot of comments like that from us older folks, but then we weren’t brought up in this age of ‘on demand’. I think it will explode as the younger generation comes into their own.

  5. Then I have to wonder what the point of books are. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this goes.

  6. @JasonDarrick says:

    There’s an even newer phenomenon called “Emoto Books”. Those are basically storybooks, with flash pictures that match the words. I do like the advances that technology provides, but I think we’re moving too fast with ebooks.

    • I don’t think I could get into a book like that, but I think the enhanced books can be useful, say in a series. Instead of having a pile of info dump, the author could have a link to the information.

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