Obviously, regular old ebooks have arrived and they’re not going anywhere. Amazon now sells more Kindle books than print; ebook sales are the fastest-growing in the business. But now that readers have embraced the digital, here comes the next wave, says Wired: “enhanced ebooks,” which incorporate video and interactive elements. That’s all well and good, until someone starts throwing around the term “literary Farmville.”
That’s not meant to be a condemnation, by the way. The term comes from Panio Gianopoulos, cofounder and publisher of digital YA startup Backlist Fiction. According to the article, Mr. Gianopoulos sees the ebooks of the future as “far more social experiences, incorporating what he calls ‘literary Farmville’ aspects.”
For instance, secret chapters could be unlocked as a person’s friends read a book. He foresees readers using a reddit-like model to up-vote characters or storylines they enjoy, or publishers forming partnerships with Foursquare that could reveal clues to readers who check in at certain locations.
Did you hear that? It was the sound of the entire publishing industry simultaneously gnashing its teeth.