Increased e-book interactivity set to revolutionise revenue streams for publishers.

As readers of this blog will no doubt be aware there are massive changes happening in the way that we interact with traditional book content. High consumer expectations of digital reading came from Apple and then Android Apps. Apps have meant that readers and publishers no longer simply thought just about text and images but came to expect greater functionality and interactivity from content. However the main issue with Apps was how expensive they were to produce. But the recent announcement from Apple that iBooks 1.5 now supports Javascript is set to change all that. Interactivity is set to increase and costs of production reduce

A great example of this new functionality can be seen in The Beatles: Yellow Submarine, which is free to download from the iBookstore. The introduction of Javascript to this Fixed Layout means that animation and interaction are now fully supported within eBooks on the iBookstore. For example within this book you can do things that were only previously possible in bespoke applications such as touching the screen to change the colour of Sergeant Peppers Band’s clothes or watch embedded video.

This is incredibly exciting for the illustrated eBook world. Over the coming months we’ll no doubt see increasing experimentation with this new functionality that the inclusion javascript enables. Not only will traditional revenue streams be supported but cross revenue will also be opened up; for example with the Yellow Submarine book, readers can purchase music from within the application. Who knows what opportunities there may be in the various forms of illustrated books such as selling ingredients in recipe books or toys within children’s books?

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