Monday, May 21, 2012

Rethinking how a book can be read

Since the time that books were scrolls, most of them were sequential devices, intended to be read from beginning to end.

And authors and publishers expected readers to stay focused on what was on the pages and not be distracted by outside influences.

An e-book like my new 499 Essential Publishing Tips for a Penny Apiece is very different. It's the first e-book I've written as an e-book, rather than converting an already existing printed book. It has color and hyperlinks and is searchable. I didn't have to be conscious of the number of pages I wrote because it costs nothing to print each page. The selling price has nothing to do with the production cost. An e-book with 1,000 pages is no heavier or bulkier than one with 32 pages.

While I wrote the e-book with a beginning and an end, you can start reading anywhere. You are free to choose a topic from the table of contents, or by searching for a specific term, or you can just keep swiping your finger across the screen and stop at something that interests you.

Rather than trying to monopolize your time and attention, I’ve provided lots of hyperlinks to send you into cyberspace for more information, opinions and entertainment.

If you are reading where you have Internet access, the book functions more like a website -- or maybe like an old library's "card catalog" -- than a book. For better or for worse, your reading experience will be affected by the links you choose to follow -- not only by what I’ve written.

(Torah scroll photo from The Foundation Stone)

No comments:

Post a Comment