In the library technology program there is an on-going challenge to define what is a book. The meaning is evolving. There are audio books, books in electronic form and now, according to Penguin Books, amplified versions that will continue to stretch the definition.
One thing to consider is the source material. The original book from author Ken Follett was made into a television series. The amplified book contains the original text of the book, photos and videos from the television show, a full music score and extras.
From a fan point of view this is terrific. There can be total immersion in the world of the story and the creation of the book and television program. From a writer/author point of view I think I'd start to freak out a little.
Is It Still A Book?
The original book is contained in the media presented so yes, it is still a book. For certain types of fiction this is going to be fantastic.
For other non-visual or more introspective types of fiction there is going to be increasing problems to convince a mainstream publisher to give those types of books a chance in the marketplace. Not every fiction book can lend itself to a television or movie version.
There are books that are truly a one-to-one type of communication. My concern is that those books will not easily be printed or digitized.
What then? How will those books be published and by whom? Can print and electronic books co-exist or are there more changes to come. Stay tuned.