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#BMHour 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold

Following the success of our inaugural #BMHour on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, we decided to do it again. And lo, like Icarus, our wings did melt, so near the sun did we fly. By which I mean not as many people logged onto Twitter around  6.30pm last night as did last time, which I’m sure is a fairly accurate translation from the original Greek. Anyway, there was still some degree of conversation, and this time the topic to kick it all off was ‘How can we add value to digital editions of books and still sell printed material?’ As before, a digest of the main talking points follows.

 

drcomics: Re: digital editions – the dvd that comes with MetaMaus makes the combination book + disc a most impressive package.

 

RobAroundBooks: I’ll offer an early answer – the digital edition needs to compliment the printed one in some way, and vice versa.

 

eMCDesignLtd: Would having standards/guidelines for digital/social reading & annotations be useful? http://ow.ly/6NZ5x

Book_Machine: I guess so … would take a while to teach though on top of everything else..

eMCDesignLtd: I think it’s aimed at industry level rather than education for time being. Is it something developers/publishers would adhere to?

Book_Machine: meant teach people to use. Perhaps. Once everything else has been totally normalised

 

Book_Machine: What would be the advantage of making printed books interactive from an educational point of view?

sophie_cryer: I suppose an advantage is that all resources could be in one place. No more flicking around between slides, DVD etc

Book_Machine: It’s just never ending what you can do with interactive learning materials … can save teachers so much time

gavinsummers: interactivity has great potential for textbooks, game based learning is gaining traction

wendytoole: Having seen bits of the Faber Wasteland app, potential for interactive study guides seems mind-boggling

Book_Machine: mind-boggling? That’s interesting…  why’s that?

wendytoole: mind-boggling because you could read a play text, hear various actors delivering line, watch the scene

 

sophie_cryer: Would publishers make enough money from just selling one resource?

Book_Machine: why one resource?

eMCDesignltd: One resource as digital books would be able to encompass everything – video, sound, pics, animations – all in one “object”

 

eMCDesignLtd: Would the cost of making it available across this many platforms be prohibitive? So would a better solution be to develop web based digital editions that can be pushed out to various content (phones, tablets etc)?

Book_Machine: sounds like a viable solution. Doesn’t really solve loss of margin from printed books but does help with adaptability

gavinsummers: possibly, but need to make sure the e-commerce systems are in place to enable this

eMCDesignLtd: So how do you see both printed & digital working together, or are they not compatible?

mikemurphy1979: if print & digital are eating each other’s space not enough has been done to justify both

 

Book_Machine: How do you ensure digital eds are widely available and don’t become redundant if technology changes?

eMCDesignLtd: HTML

 

That might seem like an abrupt ending, but that was where we called it quits. Read the complete conversation on Twitter under #BMHour

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Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris Ward writes and says things about books and music and films and what have you, even when no one is reading or listening.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.
  • K Venkatesh

    I would have been happier if I would have joined this discussion. Recently, David Dravidar, a veteran of Indian publishing scene for 25 years, said that both digital and print channels will be extensively used for promoting his new Alpeh publishers, an independent publisher who will have a tie-up with Rupa. Aleph will use the distribution muscle of Rupa, another well-known Indian publisher, roll out digital formats of e-books, and would explore every avenue to push sales. Dravidar predicts it will be two years before digital’s impact is felt in India.

    Another innovation is Vook, a video book, which combines textual narration with video images and saw a spurt in sales when they published Seth Godin.

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