The New York Times reports that publishers are beginning to create enhanced e-books that feature film clips, deleted scenes from novels, and other extras that enhance the reading experience. We’re at the beginning of a new era and judging by history, publishers will first invest in making such enhanced books for bestsellers or frontlist books and later, for midlist books, then finally, perhaps, they’ll take a look at their backlist to find ways to relaunch old favorites in an enhanced form. As the process of finding material and clearing permissions becomes smoother, the business model will reveal itself. It will take time but I’m very much looking forward to an enhanced book experience!

Now you can self-publish your book on Apple’s iPad, increasing your readership. See the article here.

I believe that more and more, authors will self-publish and the stigma of “vanity publishing” will give way to the prestige of being a successful “independent publisher.”

The New York Times has revealed it’s now commonplace for rock and roll acts to offer a V.I.P. to rabid fans with deep pockets. For $1000, you get front row seats, an exclusive catered party invitation, merchandise, and perhaps a chance to hob nob with your favorite rocker and get your photo taken.

“If you call something deluxe, if you call something unique,” said Jon Landau, Bruce Springsteen’s long-time manager, “this is America — someone will buy it.”

What if you could buy an e-edition of the Jane Austen collection which was loaded with all the best commentary on her works from all the greatest scholars, all the movies, a link to her fan club forum, and a chance to win a date with Jane? (OK, the latter wouldn’t quite work, but you get the idea).

Publishers are chasing after A-, B-, and C- list celebrities on any old topic that halfway fits with what they’re famous for, and ignoring their backlist and the opportunities for synergy (I remember that word from back in the early 90s, when megacorporations gobbled up independent publishers and insisted that this would be beneficial because every division would work creatively with each other–that didn’t seem to happen anywhere).

What about nonfiction that would easily hook into other nonfiction and be searchable in e-form? Those of us who would buy the 3 top books on a subject anyway would be willing to pay a little more to be able to cross check topics, get links to outside resources, and directly email the authors through a simple link.

Book publishers need to recognize they are not in the book biz but in the creative assembly and distribution of information biz.

Want to get your self-published book readable on iPad? Apple has announced that independent publishers (that’s you, the “self-published” author) should work with one of the following companies to do so:

Libre Digital
CD Baby

So the iPad needs book publishers to use their imagination and work with the technology to offer readers added value, according to a piece in the New York Times. I have some ideas for nonfiction books I’ve enjoyed, read, bought, gifted, and even written:

1. Active links to websites and resources.

2. Active links to online forums or support groups.

3. Active links to video that demonstrates the idea presented in the book (there’s already a name for this: Vooks for video-in-boo).

4. Contact links so you can email the author with questions and feedback.

5. Links that take you to blogs of related interest

6. Links that allow you to purchase the book, other books by the author, or books that are recommended for those who like this book

7. Links to upgrades so you can get the deluxe edition with an extra chapter or material such as an audio download (for instance, audios of the guided visualizations)

8. Links to merchandise related to the book. In Raising a Sensory Smart Child, my coauthor and I recommended at least 100 products that parents would find useful.

9. An added feature where you can buy book insurance so that should your device get stolen, lost, or broken and need replacing, you can get your e-library replaced for free.

10. Links to magazines and movies related to the book.

Just imagine the possibilities...clicking through to buy the actual movie!

11. Multitude of font/background options for people who read a lot or have visual processing issues.

12. Easy way to make notes on the material.

13. Easy way to share notes on the material with other readers who can connect with you…In the tips section of my book, I’d love it if I could easily add tips and have readers submit their own, which anyone who owns the eBook could access.

Okay, that’s off the top of my head. The possibilities are endless. C’mon, publishers…get creative here!