Are Serialized E-Books the Way of the Future?

E-books have certainly broken into the publishing industry with force, but really, what else do they have to offer other than being more portable than physical books? That’s what some publishers are beginning to ask themselves.

That’s also why, according to The New York Times, some are trying to push the platform forward with serialized e-books — digital books that come out in small increments on a regular basis, like a TV show. Publishers and authors hope this will help to make the books more interactive and attractive to readers, as Julie Bosman explains.

One of the most talked-about new experiments is taking serialized fiction a step further. […] it is a novel called “The Silent History” that is available on the AppleiPhone and its iPad. It includes interactive, user-generated elements. The app itself is free, but readers pay for the book’s content, which arrives in daily installments of about 15 minutes’ worth of reading. […] They wrote a 160,000-word book and, using the iPhone for inspiration, created a “scavenger hunt” element allowing readers to see more story lines by visiting specific locations — like China and Washington, D.C. — that are outlines on a map within the app. Users can also add their own story lines.

This all sounds like a good idea in theory, but as the article mentions, enhanced e-books with audio and video features haven’t had much success.

On a personal note, I have friends that get so frustrated with their e-readers, they’ve given up on trying to download books to it altogether. I can’t imagine they’d want to download small portions of books every week or participate in scavenger hunts. In my opinion, if you want to read a book, you just read it. No fuss. Thoughts?

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Are Serialized E-Books the Way of the Future?

  1. Mike Stevens

    Personally I have always enjoyed cracking open a fresh book, the sound of it, the scent of the ink and paper. On the other hand I also have an iPad on which I’ve loaded more than thirty books. I can, therefore, take my entire library on vacation and not use another suitcase. The convenience factor is large, the downloading occurs in seconds so, should I decide a new King novel is in order at ten-thirty some evening I can have it in my reader and in front of me by ten-thirty-two. I do hope print survives but boy with the e-books and all they offer I think it will be a battle.

  2. Pingback: Serialized E-books | PAVS 4500: The Ends of Books

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