On Techdirt, Mike Masnick discusses a post by J.A. Konrath proposing turning each e-book into its own social network. The idea is to give an e-book a form of “interactivity” that is more interactive than the audiovisual bells and whistles most publishers seem to associate with interactivity these days.
Konrath’s post discusses the possibility of friends inviting other friends to buy a particular book, and then meet together in interactive on-line “book clubs” to talk about it as they read it. It also talks about ways authors can interact with their readers through it, through such means as Skype discussions or adding new content.
I watch TV for a bit, until a screen comes up saying it is chat time. I sync my ereader with my TV and watch Konrath’s talking head as he fields a Skype chat. Several people express that they wanted a longer ending. Konrath says he’s working on one, as well as three new chapters which will be inserted into Whiskey Sour at the end of the week.
I will say that this is certainly a more real form of “interactivity” than being able to play a movie or listen to a sound file. But I wonder if there’s an element of “if you build it, they will come” about this. How many people would actually use this sort of system if it existed?
I will grant that there are large and thriving fan communities around some books (and, for that matter, TV shows, movies, etc.) but they seem to already have their own platforms. Would enough of them want to use something like this once the new wore off of it?