Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Multi-Platform or Just Give Me the Damn Book?

As book bloggers in the YA market, we know that multi-platform books are nothing new (figuratively speaking). But how much are they actually utilized? Everyone seems to be spazzing out about the supposed death of traditional publishing. Considering that no less than 80% of readers still very much prefer a traditionally bound book to anything on a screen, I'd say the publishing industry needs to take a Valium or something. But that doesn't mean the platform isn't changing and reaching out to a new age of readers isn't wise. It very much is.

For instance I read invisible i, the first book in The Amanda Project, and while I loved the book, I didn't get involved in the online stuff. I surfed around a little bit but that's about it. I'm also 26 and felt really out of place on a predominantly teen website. There's also Skeleton Creek that utilizes both a traditional book and video. My question is, when you read a multi-platform book, how multi to you get? Do you read the book and jump right online like it tells you or do you read it, say you'll do it later and then forget about it? Or do you just read the book and promise nothing?

The way of reading is changing. There's no denying that. And multi-platform books are a pretty big hit, especially with a younger YA and middle grade crowd who are more wholly in the digital world than anyone older. Do you think we'll be seeing more and more books like this or is it more of testing the waters? Publishers release a few, see how they do and judge from there as to how much more they want to invest in something like this? Publicity for a book is one thing but having a slew of books that the publisher not only has to get behind on paper but needs to put the money into building and maintaining a fully interactive website. Many book have that now but they're static compared to these kinds of sites and what's required to keep it running.

What do you think?

5 comments:

InABox said...

I like some online content (the Soulless doll for instance; I love Victorian fashion), but I find multi-platform books distracting. I want to be able to read a book and enjoy it in full wherever I am without needing the internet. Books are my escape from the digital world, and I want them to remain separate.

Shalonda said...

I remember attending a conference years ago when Cathy's Book came out, and I thought it was such an innovative idea. Needless to say, I ran out and bought a copy; however, I never participated in any of the interactive activities.

I think that multi-platform books are on the rise, and we'll continue to see more and more of them. Like you, I am in my 20s, so I don't really have an interest in the online and texting activities; however, I can see where this would draw in reluctant teenage readers.

Bravo to the publishers for taking a chance in order to interest new readers, but like you said, I'm more content with the book alone.

Mary Ann DeBorde said...

I have to admit, I'm old school ... I just want to read the damn book & get on with my life LOL

But for those who enjoy the multi-platform activities or are encouraged to become more avid readers, I think it's great =D

I guess if I had any concern, it would be that publishers' may become more focused on 'hype' over substance.

April (BooksandWine) said...

Yeah I'm in my 20s as well and am way too lazy to read multi-platform books. Sorry, give me a regular old book any day - in print or ebook form. I just want words or in the case of graphic novels, words and pictures, no need to go to some website for extra content.

Donna said...

Yup. Most of the time I just can't be bothered to go online to "finish" a book. If it's not between the covers I'm holding, why read it?

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