eBook Recommendations

iPad MiniI’ll keep this blog brief because my others have a habit of getting, well, long. And instead of writing what I think, I’m hoping to pick your brains (in the nicest possible way, of course—that’s not an entirely pleasant visual).

I’m on the hunt for innovative ebooks. As in, ones that represent new and engagingly effective ways to tell stories. Can you recommend any? Of any genre?

I mean, sure, it’s great that the industry’s invented electronic text and formats that (with the exception of PDFs) sort and reassemble and re-flow themselves according to the device and your preferred settings. But ereaders represent a bunch of storytelling- and industry-expanding opportunities to enhance the tale and the reading experience. I’m looking for books (and publishers) that are exploring and realising the ebook format’s potential.

In-built dictionary functionality is tops—I no longer have to dog ear pages or make mental notes to scurry off and look words up—but can you think of any ebooks that are seamlessly incorporating other special features-style storytelling elements such as stills and video? Or that perhaps encourage you to access and navigate through the tale from a variety of non-traditional, non-chronological, but non-confusing angles?

I guess the key to the texts I’m looking for is that they’re good, that the elements are integrated and not hey-we-can-insert-a-video-here tacked on. The kinds of texts that give the sense that they’ve come from publishers who see electronic publishing as an opportunity rather than something they’ve been forced, like a luddite with a gun held to their head, to make a token effort at. I’m after the ones that, though the books may be serious, are clearly having fun.

Any recommendations for books or publishers? Or even blogs talking about them? I’m stumped for where to start.

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Fiona Crawford

Fiona Crawford is a freelance writer, editor, blogger, proofreader, and voracious reader. She regularly appears as a book reviewer in Australian BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER magazine. Fiona is also (unfairly) known as the Book Burglar due to her penchant for buying family members—then permanently borrowing—books she wants to read herself.