Penguin Books Working On Interactive eBooks For iPad

News | Thursday March 4 2010 5:24 AM | Comments (0) Tags: , , , , ,

In the article, the website has published a live demo offered by Penguin Books' CEO John Makinson where he gave a preview of how his company intends to use the iPad platform to reach their consumers. The demo demonstrates an interactive medium, which would integrate ebook reading with other features such as audio, video and live chatting. Presenting the interactive ebook, Makinson said:
“We will be embedding audio, video and streaming in to everything we do. The .epub format, which is the standard for ebooks at the present, is designed to support traditional narrative text, but not this cool stuff that we’re now talking about.”
However, since the current EPUB standard for ebooks does not support such interactive functionalities, Makinson revealed that his company would take the App Store route for the short term. He said:
“So for the time being at least we’ll be creating a lot of our content as applications, for sale on app stores and HTML, rather than in ebooks. The definition of the book itself is up for grabs. We don’t know whether a video introduction will be valuable to a consumer. We will only find answers to these questions by trial and error”
Penguin is not the only publisher contemplating such a format. Earlier this year, Brian Murray, the CEO at Harper-Collins had revealed that his company was working to
with videos, author interviews and social networking features.
The plans are undoubtedly ambitious and can redefine the way users consume content. However, there are a few challenges ahead. As Makinson notes, this format is still in its trial stages and hence a market for ebooks with such interactive content is yet to be determined. Also, these additional functionalities are likely to raise the cost of consumption higher than the present levels and so an appropriate pricing for the same is also to be established. Makinson notes that a dynamic pricing model is the way forward though it is not exactly clear how that will pan out.
We would like to hear from you about Penguin's plans. Do you see interactive ebooks as the way forward for publishers? Please let us know your views.

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