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Old 01-31-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
MrsJoseph
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GRRM's new Enhanced Ebook

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Game of Thrones: Enhanced Edition

With the recent success of the ‘Game of Thrones’ series we’ve seen some damned cool products developed that serve as additions to the book and television series. We’ve had an art book, t-shirts, mugs, lego figures, a dragon egg paperweight, keychain, hoodies,map posters, bookmarks, pendants, tankards, board games, sword shaped letter openers and caps. But, what we are going to bring to your attention takes all these wonderful items and blows them away… pretty much into oblivion… and we could even speculate gives us a glimpse into the future of books:

London, 30 January 2012:
HarperVoyager is delighted today to announce the publication of the enhanced edition of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones ebook.

Now, do not confused this as a book with a short story thrown in or the odd deleted scene added – it is neither of those. This is a book that has been designed for the ‘ipad’. Harper Voyager explain to us that this is:

A stunning enhanced edition of the hugely popular and highly acclaimed epic fantasy, featuring an interactive map tracking main characters’ journeys, audio extracts of key scenes and a hyperlinked character glossary.

To really comprehend just how impressive this innovation from Voyager is, you need to see it in action.

http://youtu.be/wDBgnvMp0TQ
It looks rather interesting but not something I would be into. I like my books to be silent.

What about you?
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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Interesting. I'm not really excited by the idea of the "enhanced" versions, but in the case of a book like this the interactive map is a nice addition. To me having some little snippits as an audio book is just gimmicky to justify calling it an enhanced books. I think it will take a couple of years for publishers (authors?) to figure out how to use the "enhanced" features to actually enhance a book.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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Sounds to me like a web page, loaded with flash, java, or other "interactive" crap that slows things down and crashes a lot.

Doesn't the iPad already have a web browser? Why do we need to turn the book reader app in to a web browser, too?
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:41 PM   #4
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Perhaps it is just me but: My imagination far exceeds any interactive content they could include. When I read I let the "mental movie" run without limits. I think anything they might add would detract from the experience, at least for me.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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I didn't like the book that much to buy an enhanced version. Particularly the later two releases....
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
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I stopped needing pictures in books when I discovered my imagination was better. That's when I stopped reading comic books and started reading novels. I was 8. I discovered Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Phillip Jose Farmer, Phillip K.Dick, Andre Norton, Louis L'Amour and to many other authors to list.
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:50 PM   #7
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I don't know that I would care for the audio--but I would love the interactive map!

Mary
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Old 01-31-2012, 03:51 PM   #8
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If some readers appreciate it and other readers can choose to ignore the enhanced elements (to enjoy a more traditional read), then it sounds like a great idea.

My only concerns would be that the added productions costs would legitimize the sky rocketing cost of ebooks and that non-standard ebook formats will proliferate. But that doesn't appear to be the case here since this edition is differentiated from the regular ebook edition much like a hard cover may be differentiated from a paperback.
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rxmom03 View Post
I don't know that I would care for the audio--but I would love the interactive map!

Mary
I agree. I would LOVE (make that "kill for") hot maps in my ebooks. Screw it, if I could just have the map in the ToC with out loosing my place... *sigh* a girl can dream.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:05 PM   #10
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Quite a few Military Fiction Authors have added maps to their hard copy books for years. Of course they were only interactive in that you had to turn the page to look at them.
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:31 PM   #11
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neat but too distracting. when i read i want to read, i don't want distractions that i'll (inevitably) begin to fiddle with.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:46 PM   #12
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Maps would be cool, especially if they are interactive.

But the rest of the "interactive" stuff seems like a waste of time. And it also makes me think that now, any time a book is made into a movie or TV show, an "interactive" book using dialogue, etc. from the show will now be offered to the public.

Which is really uninteresting and, if anything, seems like an ad for the film or TV show.
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:53 PM   #13
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The enhanced version is currently freee in the Australian Amazon store. Thank you so much for the video link I was totally underwhelmed by the enhanced content but that was because I didn't know about the swipes to get the map working lol
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:35 AM   #14
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The only thing I cared about with this special edition is that it was offered free in Australia. So it's a low cost entry into this series for me.
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Old 02-01-2012, 02:26 AM   #15
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I've published one children's Ebook thus far, and I have not been happy with the resulting book for these reasons: as a long-time teacher of young children, I know that when they want to know something, they want to know it NOW. They don't want to look through a glossary or a dictionary or to refer to an atlas. That's where hyper-linking comes in.

How much more satisfying it would be if, in my case, names of various types of sailboats could be hyper-linked with pictures of them and short explanations of their differences; if maps showing the locations of places mentioned in the book could be made available at the click of the name; if simple recipes for kid's party foods could be accessed at the click of a word? While I didn't use any music, etc., wouldn't it be great for the young reader to have available a series of clips of songs mentioned in the story to add to the mood of the story, or the sounds of wild animals in their habitats?

I think that sometimes the term, "enhanced", means different things to different people. Sometimes it will be found to be appropriate, at other times it won't. But I'm against "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".
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