A SME publishing company that has a team of five members as staff would like to use new technologies to enable innovative ways of writing and recording short stories as well as longer stories that would be divided into chapters. They would particularly like to be able to situate each story/ chapter in a very specific physical location, that is, to be able to create geographically specific stories. The ‘consumer’ (end-user, reader) of the story would then have to be involved in a journey around the city or other location from where they would need to go and ‘collect’ the next story/chapter. This would enhance the entire experience of storytelling (creation and reception) and make it more interactive. Moreover they are seeking a new novel way of narration through a network of perspectives rather than a linear story that will change the narrative when the same story is told from these various perspectives.
The technologies they would wish for in order to realize their vision would be: innovative developments of technologies like GPS navigation/ mapping and audio systems (MP3). An app to gain multiple perspectives and explore how the narrative actually changes when the same story is told from these various perspective or/and a kind of an interactive ebook that will allow the reader to choose perspectives and form the story according to their perception towards the main characters and main events.
This scenario proposes a geolocational element to new narratives, echoing longstanding academic and creative research converging mobile technlogies, geographic information systems (GIS) with culrutal practices such as psychogeography. Commercial platforms such as calvium.com currently offer mobile app development for building and deploying interactive multimedia mobile, location-based narratives and experiences. Experiments such as Penguin's “We Tell Stories” (2008) offers some compelling models for this kind of interactive narrative to develop into new forms of storytelling.
Think before you jump into any leap forward in types of ebooks.
The single greatest mistake that US publishers have consistently made in this revolution is to fall in love with what they can do with the new tech.
Before you leap, consider an analogy. In print, most readers will tell you that they like maps and illustrations and graphics. They love color, etc.
Most print books don't have most of these elements, though. It's not because publishers are stupid and don't know what people want. It's because most readers don't want these elements enough to pay the extra price that is needed to cover the cost of their creation.
Someone has to take and manipulate the pictures. Someone has to make the graphics. That costs money (one way or another -- opportunity costs are money that never makes it into your bank account). Video and audio are far more expensive, because you need to pay permissions, and get clearances from all of the places and people shown, the composers and musicians, and then edit them, etc.
Don't price yourself out of your market.
Some types of books require enhancements in order to meet market demand (color in cookbooks, for example). Some can sell either way. And some are far more price sensitive, and won't sell at all if you add the enhancements, no matter what they do for the reader.
TEST your market before you invest something you can't afford to lose. Or better yet, don't invest what you can't afford to lose under any circumstances!
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