Mobile devices have changed the way how literature is being published. These days, books and comics are now skipping the printing press and being sent off directly to the internet. These new trend paved way to innovatively make literature more exciting and interactive for the readers. And with the emergence of these digital works, a new breed of writers is also breaking free from the traditional methods of publishing.
Interactive readings has become more noticeable these days. This means that aside from just text and pictures, books can now have bonus features that allow readers to immersed in the fictional universe that they are reading. In O2 and Samsung’s “Mobie Life” 2013 report, smartphone users are now using their mobile devices for reading purposes. As readers turn mobile, publishers are now moving to this platform and create their interactive e-books. An example of this is John Buccahn’s thriller novel Thirty-Nine Steps. This interactive book was released at the London Book Fair last April. It has an app wherein they will play a horror adventure game based on the novel. As they progress, they get to “unlock dozens of achievements and items to collect on their reading journey, and explore hundreds of hand-painted digital environments and context from 1910s Britain.” This approach could also improve educational books especially for Science, Mathematics and even History textbooks.
Recently, DC created two new interactive featuresfor their digital comics called DC2and DC2 Multiverse. DC2has panels that have dynamic artwork and visual effects that can be activated with a swipe or tap of their mobile device. DC2Multiverse takes storytelling to a whole new level by having multiple story outcomes. This approach makes it easier for companies such as DC to identify what is appealing to readers. In an interview with Wired, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Jim Lee said they can use this feature to “make the people vote for the fates of the characters.”
Another emerging trend in this digital age is the rise of self-published writers. With blogs and even text novels rising in popularity, more writers are now encouraged to come out and share their works online. Text novels, created out of SMS, is a modern literature that started in Japan and is now spreading across America as well. Tadashi Izumi, the Japanese author of Cross Roads, was approached by a publisher who made his text novel into a full length printed piece. Other writers are crowdfunding, where they seek help online and find generous donors who can sponsor their works to be printed and published.
Multimedia and dynamic elements are good ways to help readers be interested with digital books. But just like what the cyber citizens have said about the 39 Steps e-book, the text and story is still important to their reading experience. This shows that publishers need to strike the perfect balance between the content and presentation of their digital books.
How do you feel about the new trends in digital publishing? We love your insights and feedback.