HomeBook ProductionAudio BooksWhere is the future of books?

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Where is the future of books? — 3 Comments

  1. There’s also the a gosh-awful cost factor when multimedia is added. Text can be marvelous, since it depends ultimately on the skills of one person, the author, with little more than a laptop. Basic graphics, either pictures or line drawings, can be added. Stock photos are professionally done and not that expensive.

    But audio and particularly video are in a league apart. Even with the newer technologies, it still takes a team of people and equipment to create even a brief and professional-looking video. Does a five minute video that cost $5,000 to create add that much to a book? I doubt it. The book’s subject matter is still what matters. That $5,000 is better spent on editing, layout, and proofing.

    There is one area where audio and video make sense. That’s pre- and post-reading interviews with the author. In the former, the reader is set up for reading. In the latter, any questions that might have come up are covered. But neither of those needs to be in the book. They can be linked to inside the book and displayed in a browser. There’s no reason to enlarge the size of an ebook 100-fold for a video or two that’ll only be displayed once.

    At times I suspect the executives of large publishing houses do look with favor on adding A/V because only they can afford the resources to do it well. But will it be worth the costs even for them? I doubt it. People read books because they want to read. If they want video, they’ll look online for movie drama, a documentary or whatever. Most people simply don’t like shifting between various media.

  2. I agree exactly, Michael! I have found that a video course built from my font design book has done real well on Udemy. I hope to get one on book publishing after the move.

    But those are completely separate ventures—extremely labor intensive, and huge. The folder holding the pieces produced (not all of them by any means) is 12.5 Gigabytes. I misplaced at least 10 percent of them.

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