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Another Missed Opportunity for Rich Content

I recently finished reading a terrific ebook. It's about the 1975 World Series between the Reds and the Red Sox and the title is Game Six. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading Game Six there was something missing. I remember watching that series, just like I watched every postseason baseball game growing up. The image of Carlton Fisk willing his game winning drive to stay fair is iconic. I can almost see Luis Tiant's herky-jerky windup and Bernie Carbo hitting that earlier homerun to tie the game up.

I say "almost" though, because 1975 was a long time ago and my memory is far from perfect. Game Six was fun to read but the author and publisher missed a huge opportunity to make it a much richer experience for their customers.

Why doesn't this book have a ton of links built in that point to related video clips and interviews? They're all over YouTube and many other sites but they're not curated in any manner. Search for "1975 world series game six" or "bernie carbo 1975 homerun" and you get all sorts of interesting results but there's no one guiding you to be sure and watch this one but don't bother with that one or watch this one before you watch that one. I would have gladly paid more for a richer edition of this book with all those links curated by the author included.

I should note that I read Game Six on my Kindle Touch. It's the last one I'll be reading on that device as I've moved on to the new Nook with GlowLight. The video links I'm talking about would have been useless on either device, but if they were integrated with the ebook I would have gladly read it with the Kindle app on my tablet. And just to repeat: The publisher could charge me more for this web-enabled version.

Notice I didn't say anything about selling or embedding these videos with the ebook. All I'm talking about is adding links to the videos that are all over the web, so there are no rights issues to worry about. This enhancement doesn't work for every book either, btw. Game Six is just begging for this enhancement though.

Publishers often complain about the prohibitive cost of creating apps out of books. Rather than going that far and spending a fortune, why not start with the inexpensive option of simply enhancing the ebook by curating everything related to it that already exists on the web?



So, I know your point is a bit broader than this, but one thing to keep in mind -- links go bad. As a publisher or author, if you choose not to embed media, or create your own online content, but choose to link to pages and sites that you don't have control over, at some point you risk delivering a less than stellar user experience. Should a reader of your book click on links that result in error pages, or content that is not what they were expecting, they will no doubt become a frustrated and grumpy reader. Frustrated, grumpy readers blame either the publisher or author. And complain about the publisher or author. On blogs. Like this one. ;-)

Joe Wikert

Totally agree, Ms. Meyer, and I consider that another part of the curation process. Before I get into that though I'd like to thank you for stopping by and commenting on this blog. I never see you in this part of the interweb.

Regarding your point about bad links... Yes, they do go bad and content even gets removed from time to time. That's why I think it would be best for The Game to have its own page of links that the author checks and adjusts from time to time. If content disappears from the original location it's often fairly easy to find it in another location, so just change the link. Better yet, push an updated copy of the ebook out to your customers. Even though some ebook retailers don't have this update capability figured out yet I hear that's how they do it at O'Reilly. :-)


Oh - you know what you should do? You should totally start a crowd-sourced page of links for THE GAME. That way the community becomes responsible for the content. Be the change you want to see in the world, Joe!

Also, I was going to say that about how it'd be better to have one page with all the links, and/or push the updates. I really was. (Also, I'm too busy re-routing broken links to take time and leave comments on peoples' blog posts.)


Very interesting. Thank you for sharing the recommendation!
Will definitely check the book out.

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