Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Which Side of the Interactive Divide Do You Fall?

In one of those synergistic moments with the world, Nathan Bransford posted on interactive books yesterday. Imagine that. Me, ahead of the game instead of behind it. I'm so grateful to be part of technology's newest foray into the fiction experience. I loved reading through the comments, too. It seems to be a good cross-section of opinions, albeit a little heavy on the let-books-be-books side of the debate.

I've been putting off organizing my writing space. This is my way of delaying the inevitable: making that decision about which project to go with. Two novels need editing, one begs to be completed. That, along with another ghostwriting venture has my brain percolating with indecision.

I'm gorging on the last few movies in my hero-inspired list from said interactive novel just completed. It seems I'm reluctant to leave this particular Brit behind. Right now, I'm watching an indie historical flick where he has, perhaps, two script sheets of dialogue when combined. Two hours just for a few nuggets of heart-melting brilliance? Hell to the yeah. It occurred to me two days ago that I need to focus on new hero inspiration for a new project. Unfortunately, this epiphany hit while at the water park. Ask me if I found inspiration among the camouflage swim trunks and keg stomachs. If my next hero has an unfortunate farmer's tan, you'll know why.

What do you think about interactive ebooks? Would you enjoy reading a novel via tablet or smart phone if it offered a new aspect to the reading experience you couldn't get with a Kindle or Nook? How much interactive content is too much?


Charles Gramlich said...

I think it's a nice addition to regular publishing. I'm not really interested in such books myself but I can see how they might be enjoyable for many.

Dixie said...

LA, I have a friend who swears by hook or by Nook! She states that reading Kindles her heart. I'd never hear the end if it got more interactive. In fact I'd probably never see her again(smile).

As for me, a quiet nook at the library is my cup of tea. If there's any kindle-ling to be experienced I'll have to check the book out; no public displays of affection allowed.

Seriously(?) depends on the book and the targeted age groups. Thanks for asking :)

Todd Wheeler said...

I am still puzzled about the appeal of eBooks, even after having read several on a Kindle. But that is because I spent most of my life reading books on paper.

There could be a tipping point in about a half generation when the only medium the reader has experienced in life is digital content. In which case, if there was a choice between b/w text on a page and colorful interactive stories, the interactive will win.

Which gets to the question of whether the novel survives as a format in which one can immerse oneself, a 'hot medium' as McLuhan coined it, which requires so much of the brain to visualize the words.

Even if the interactive elements require some thought, so much of it will be visual as to make the experience mostly passive. Or perhaps the interactive elements just be cross marketing gimmicks, videos to comment on socially, links to share socially, a method of branding rather than storytelling.

L.A. Mitchell said...

@Charles...If anything, these industry changes benefit the reader. So many choices.

@Dixie...She is the target audience for this book, I suspect :) What's weird is that I have a Nook, but I still go to Half Price Books and B&N and want to hold books. I don't think I'll ever completely cross over :) Thanks so much for stopping by!

@Todd...excellent point. At this point, it's all gimmicks and branding, but I can see it evolving in a very short period of time. What a thoughtful comment :)