Lights Out for Enhanced Ebooks?

shutterstock_181106462Some say the prospects for enhanced ebooks went dark a long time ago–or never existed in the first place. Now, the news that Atavist Books is shutting its doors leads one author to revisit those claims.

While interactive digital content remains costly to produce and the audience for it limited relative to standard reflowable ebooks, there’s some indication that both those barriers are diminishing.

And even if they never disappear entirely, there may be ways for authors and publishers to continue innovating without putting all their eggs in the enhanced ebook basket.

Here’s why doing so might be worth it in the long-run.

Related: Pushing Digital Innovation Forward With the Digital Book Awards

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Low-Power LCD Screens in Development (Teleread)
Hong Kong-based researchers are working on a new screen technology that can hold an image without a constant power supply, a development that could ultimately be a big leap forward for e-reading devices, not to mention the kinds of content displayable on them.

Mapping Publishing’s Technological Future (Pub Perspectives)
Silicon Valley innovators are experimenting with new ways of monetizing digital content, especially as web-based e-reading opportunities expand and go mobile. Here’s a look at some of the more exciting ones.
Related: Publishing Gets Technical at DBW15

Why Apple Is Courting Alibaba (BGR)
According to some industry watchers, Apple’s recent overtures to the Chinese e-tailer go beyond an effort to expand its presence in Asia. Apple may also see Alibaba as “a cudgel to pummel Walmart and Amazon” in North America.

Amazon Prime Stays Hot as Fire Phone Goes Cold (HuffPost)
A report on Amazon customers’ behavior in the third quarter of this year suggests Prime continues attracting new members while the Fire Phone, in the words of one analyst, “has achieved virtually zero market share.”

Mobile Privacy Concerns Mount (Forbes)
Just as Adobe takes steps to address the recent outcry over how it collects reader data through its ebook platform, privacy issues arise on a far greater scale for mobile users, with major carriers tracking smartphone customers in a way that leaves them vulnerable to third parties.

Andrew Wylie to Hachette: “Stand Firm” in Amazon Fight (PW)
The literary agent argues publishers have been too deferential to Amazon and suggests that by holding out Hachette may be able to wrest back some power and profit. (Maybe so, but we’ll believe it when we see it.)

Riding the Rising Tide of Audiobooks (HuffPost)
As audiobook technology improves for listeners and production options widen for authors and publishers, one industry leader argues audiobooks are on the rise. Here’s why plus how to take advantage.

Literary Agency Sells to Entertainment Group (NYPost)
Y Entertainment Group, which owns Artists Group International, acquires the literary agency Vigliano Associates, giving the latter access to expanded resources, especially when it comes to developing TV adaptations.


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