At the risk of sounding like a broken record on the subject -- major publishers evidently don't get it! I mean, they REALLY don't get it!
Here is Penguin's idea of an enhanced eBook :
- The text is linked to a little over 300 notes at the end of the book. Notes like this: The name of this estate is a clue to its extent. A "park" is the landscaped grounds surrounding a stately house, grounds that could be quite extensive.
- To read these notes you must bookmark your place in the text click through to the note and then fumble around with the bookmark feature to get back to where you were. And all that hassle for a gem like: The name of this estate is a clue to its extent. A "park" is the landscaped grounds surrounding a stately house, grounds that could be quite extensive.
- The first enhancement is a guide to how to navigate the enhanced version. Any enhancement that need 3 pages to explain how to use it, needs to seriously be rethought!
- Filmography -- lots of words describing films. How dumb is that? Not a link in site. Not a graphic in site, never mind a video clip.
- 19th Century Reviews -- more words giving opinions about this book from long dead white guys reviewing it
- Chronology -- a dated tour through Jane Austin's life. Wikipedia does a better job.
- What Austen Ate -- recipes for dreadful English food; no pictures and no links
- How to Prepare Tea -- Oh goody!!
- Austen sites to visit in England -- a flat line drawing map with a few words about the towns involved.
- Map of sites in the novel -- more lines and words. No color no variation! What about Google Earth for at least a little color?
- Behaving your self -- etiquette and dancing. Very useful!
- Illustrations of Home Decor, Architecture and Transportation -- WOW! Finally something graphic. Don't hold your breath for anything interesting! The only color on any page is the red letters used to explain the illustrations.
Unbelievable!!! No color except on the cover and as a way to rub in the lack of color in the illustrations. No video -- You Tube has over 2000 pieces of video about Jane Austen. And 2200 videos on how to make tea. No sound -- not even a sample of the dance music.
What makes me want to cry is the monumental inability of a mainstream publisher to think beyond paper and the idea that an eBook is only another way to represent paper.
I am beginning to wonder if it's a plot to kill eBooks. You know, make the most awful example you can of a digital book. Present it as something enhanced and wonderful. Give the people the idea that eBooks are necessarily stupid, boring and hard to use.
Can you think of a better way to kill eBooks?