The world of online reading is exploding with new kinds of content (as well as new business models to generate revenue for the publishers and authors). Here are some of the new amazing things to read.
Apps for Individual Works — Similar to a DVD’s bonus features which add value, apps for individual books and poems add dramatic readings, notes, maps, and other features that provide depth and background.
- Example: former Vice President Al Gore published a follow-up to An Inconvenient Truth called Our Choice: a plan to solve the climate crisis. The app for this book offers interactive graphics — I actually made the windmill in a photograph turn when I blew on the side of the cell phone!
- Other individual book apps include an ingredient calculator (for the cookbook) and a slideshow of the cover art from international editions (for the novel).
Platforms for Individual Authors — At least one platform is the only place where you can buy a single author’s books in e- format: Pottermore.
- This site will “open” next month.
Rented Textbooks – Publishers love this new model: e-textbooks that you can rent for a period of months, which disappear from your computer or e-device at the end of the rental period.
- The huge textbook resale market cuts publishers and authors out of royalties, so this model will guarantee that they get money for every single copy, every single time.
- Students would be able to rent the book for less money than to buy it.
- But first do the math — you might be able to buy it used and sell it to recoup some of your investment.
“Long Reads” — For those who like deeper, more thoughtful articles, there are groups who post longish individual articles that readers can buy and read at their leisure. (For more information, follow #longreads on Twitter.)
Short Reads — Welcome to Guardian Shorts, a new offering from one of the UK’s major newspapers, The Guardian. These publications, which they’re calling “short e-books,” are detailed, mostly previously unpublicized information about stories in the news. They will range in price from free up to about $6.50.
Science Fiction– And what’s happening in the world(s) of science fiction?
- If you’re a Kindle owner, Amazon is offering pieces of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine for free, for 14 days, and then more for more. Confused? So is everyone else.
For info about how to use academic e-books, comparisons of e-readers, and more, please see our E-books Guide.