The book industry is keeping up with the digital age, and not just by creating digital downloads of previously tangible material. First of all, publishers are creating online worlds that extend beyond the book itself. This happened most notably with last summer’s (semi-successful, though ultimately disappointing) release of Pottermore, which is still in beta. But the Potter series has already been published, and is enjoying plenty of success in print.
Some authors, like Michael Grant of the upcoming BZRK series, have started creating that online world before publishing even the first book. Others, such as the team that creates The 39 Clues series lead their readers online to discover storyline information not included in print.
Quirk Books, a publishing house which has always gone straight for the unconventional, has two exciting books out later this month: Jason Heller’s Taft 2012 and Theodora Goss’ The Thorn and the Blossom. The former, a satire in which Taft disappears at the end of his term and turns up just in time to run again in the 2012 election, has relied on internet marketing since October. Taft himself has been tweeting away about the strange century in which he finds himself, and their campaign website provides printable flyers and buttons, and updates readers on Taft’s new campaign. The latter is a love story, told from two perspectives and published on a book with no binding, which can be read in either direction.
None of these titles is a household name–yet–but they are all part of a revolution that I bet we’re going to see more and more of as time goes on and e-books get fancier. Personally, I’m excited to see what more mainstream publishers do to stand out. What’s your favorite non-conventional book?