Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Technology Changes and Literature

I'd like to have a look at the way in which writers are using new technologies to grab the interest of old readers and entice new ones to pick up their work. For me there are three main pushes to help grow the market of readers, which according to some is a dying market.

One of the newest technologies to be introduced into the market are mbooks, originally these were like TV episodes for books where a txt, or episode, would be sent to subscribers phones each day all linked together and after a month or so you would have read the whole story. I do believe that there is a reader out there for them now the UMID Mbook M1 which was originally released in Korea but was withdrawn due to quality issues. The key to this style of book is that it is easy to access and gets sent to you, so very user friendly.

The catch to it from an author's perspective is the character restrictions of a txt, and that you need to provide a cliff-hanger style ending to essentially every txt sent to keep the reader wanting to know what happens. I'm not sure that for my personal writing style, which is Fantasy eBooks, the mbook is conducive to my work due to the character limitations associated with it, not to say that fantasy in general can not use this medium, but I do like the idea as it draws in new people to the market.

Secondly is the eBook, although not necessarily new as I have discussed in previous articles on my website, the form in which it is now produced makes it far more accessible to many readers and the technology associated with it is becoming refined with the use of eInk readers such as the Kindle 1 & 2, Nook, PocketBook or CyBook Gen3 to name a few on the market. Although this is another gadget that you need to carry around with you these items help to provide people with an easy way to read particularly if your life is full of other activities or you are limited for space.

I've found that people who read eBooks tend to utilize them in many of the same ways that people do with a traditional printed book, which is on the way to and from work or while at the park on a sunny day or at the cafe with a coffee. So what are the reasons to choose this format over a traditional printed book? In my view convenience, eBooks allow you to have stored in a small portable reader a huge variety of literature that will keep track of where you are up to in any given book, can provide pictures or illustrations to accompany the text and easy guides to appendixes or indexing.

I did read on a forum recently that some people had an aversion to the eBook as there was no tactile sensation and satisfaction given as you would get from turning the page of a printed book. To which the future looks bright, as you can already use touch screens to turn pages in brochures and pamphlets it will only be a matter of time before eBook publishers bring in these types of interactions into their products.

Lastly are audiobooks, again not that much of a new concept but one that is growing. I actually find these appealing for myself but also for younger generations who seem to be less inclined to read as it gives people an option to just sit back and relax while they get entertained. Again from talking with people and reading into the subject there are the traditional uses of audiobooks such as on the train, bus or in the car as you're going to and from work.

But more and more I've found people using this medium when doing the gardening or walking the dog. The proliferation of the iPhone has also made the audiobook more user-friendly as you would generally have your phone on you when doing these activities in any case and unlike an eBook reader which is a separate gadget you need to be carrying around this allows access all in one machine.


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