Books will continue to exist, but the possibilities for their transformation are astounding. Although many of us still enjoy the tactile experience of reading books and flipping pages, I think that we may attribute more nostalgia to the physical book than they deserve.
For example, can you not enjoy an inexpensive copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as much as a leather-bound printing? Is a dog-eared copy of Pride and Prejudice less dramatic? I don’t think so.
If we compare books to other forms of communication such as photography, is a digital picture worth less than a printed one? Is an online video less valuable than a DVD? I would argue that we value them both equally. But by removing the notion that we must publish books on paper and bind them together, we open up a world of possibilities.
Take for example, the creative ways for distributing a book that evolved when rapper Jay-Z partnered with the Microsoft search engine, Bing, back in October 2010. In a project that was two parts marketing and one part social experiment, Jay-Z and Bing released every page of the rapper’s upcoming book, Decoded, by strategically placing them across the United States and the world.
For one month prior to the book’s release, they would publish five to ten pages in odd formats and venues that were determined by the content on the page. For example, pages were printed on billboards, on hamburger wrappers and even printed inside limited edition Gucci jackets.
Watch a recap of the amazing marketing and strategic publishing event:
You can read more about it here:
By publishing his book in nontraditional ways, it added value to the book, instead of taking away from it. Readers were now everywhere and often snapped pictures of the book and became involved in the story as opposed to passively reading it.