Some Tough Questions for Enhanced E-Books
Last week’s Pew study on e-reading gave publishers some hope that consumers might be ready for enhanced e-books. I’m not so sure.
If the enhanced e-book is the future, then why is (almost) every enhanced e-book start-up either bankrupt, struggling or has pivoted to something else?
Why are most big publishers losing money on enhanced e-books (a few notable exceptions in specialized segments)?
And at what point is it no longer a book, but a game or video with some text (i.e. the equivalent of the free “extras” on a DVD)?
And has anybody actually tracked how readers “read” enhanced e-books? Do they click on those audio and video links and if so, when? Do we really understand this medium?
I am a big believer in enhanced e-books for children (replace carousel books and the like) or for travel books (now apps). But replacing narrative-driven books (novels) for adults? Gulp, hard to believe.
I am with Mike Shatzkin on this. Lots of noise, little evidence.