Book publishers are steadily making the transition to the digital era, whether it’s through e-readers, mp3 versions of books-on-tape, or, most recently, through Microsoft Tag. Tags can bring books alive by providing instant access to digital content that enhances and expands the printed pages. Imagine reading the autobiography of a musician and, at the same time, watching a video of one of their performances, all from the comfort of your couch.
“While some are rushing to find ways to take the physical book out of people’s hands and put the entire experience online, we’ve decided to take the internet and put it into the physical book,” says Judith Curr, executive vice president and publisher of Atria Books and Washington Square Press.
Check out this video interview with Judith, which showcases some great uses of Tag for book publishing.
The example that stuck out for me was placing a Tag on a print ad for a book. When a reader scans the Tag, they see the first chapter of the book. This is a great way to let consumers sample the content, and they have access to the chapter whenever and wherever they want, because it's on their smartphone.
Or how about putting a Tag on the back cover of a novel? You could change the content every month – maybe one month readers see a message from the author, and next time they can read an excerpt of her next book.
Simon & Schuster
Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, started publishing books with direct access to digital content in Summer 2010. Titles have included Joseph Kanon’s Stardust, Jennifer Weiner’s Fly Away Home, Juan Gómez-Jurado’s The Moses Expedition, Nicole Richie’s Priceless, Apolo Ohno’s autobiography Zero Regrets, Susan Boyle’s The Woman I was Born to Be, and True Spirit by 16-year-old Australian sailor Jessica Watson.
All the books have a Tag on the back linking to a video of the author, and some, including True Spirit and Zero Regrets, include Tags throughout the text depicting the moments at sea and on the ice described by the authors.
Atria is also using Tag technology for marketing and advertising outreach, such as making exclusive pre-publication excerpts available by scanning a Tag.
Loescher, Italy’s largest publisher of textbooks for primary and secondary schools, added a custom Tag to all its textbooks. Now, instead of lugging heavy books around, students can scan the Tag and view dynamic educational content on their mobile phones. Even more importantly, the Tags can be updated on the fly to present the latest educational content, extending the lifespan of a traditional textbook. (Read more.)
Publications International, Ltd. (PIL) produces children’s books for Disney, Fisher-Price, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, and Warner Bros. PIL is taking a first-of-its-kind approach to integrating Tags into the design and content. The result will be interactive books that provide a seamless and fully integrated online and offline reading experience for families.
How would you like to see Tags used in books? Let us know in the comments below or on Tag’s Facebook or Twitter pages.