New Frontiers for Novelists?

Interesting story about iPhone apps for authors in the Guardian.  Publishers are developing iPhone apps as companions for specific novels, using the technology as way to supplement the words on the page and generally providing an “enriching” experience for the reader by supplying additional material, background information, and the like.

I wrote a while ago about my ultimately unsatisfying experience with the Barnes & Noble Nook.  While I still would rather read words on a page than on a screen, I can see that one benefit of all this technology is the ability to offer a more interactive experience for the reader.  I’m sure it’s something that writers won’t be able to avoid for much longer.  Just as every DVD now needs a director’s commentary, pretty soon authors will have to provide additional content to meet these new demands.  And I guess I’m fine with that… although the recalcitrant Luddite within me still whispers: what’s wrong with just a book?

Well, what will be will be, I suppose.  Still, I hope that writers won’t be tempted to include the literary equivalent of “deleted scenes” in these new formats.  I’m only speaking for myself, of course, but there’s a reason why I cut so much out of my books.  I can see it now: “Click here for seven hundred pages of adverbs that Alex deleted between the third and fourth drafts.”  Oh, goody.

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