Monday, May 11, 2015

Bink and You'll Miss It

A Post By Jonathan

If you caught my Back Jacket Hack Job you know I have a thing for sharks. Not really, but they're becoming a bit of a theme for me so what the heck, right?

Anyway, I was watching Shark Tank on ABC the other night (if you've never seen the show, basically a bunch of entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of billionaires trying to garner investments) and these two people from a company called Beneath The Ink come on talking about a product for authors. They unfortunately didn't get a deal, but their idea was interesting enough for this writer to take notice.

The gist is, Beneath The Ink can imbed internet-free links (called "Binks") into e-books to enhance the reader experience. The links are bits of information that can include pictures, pronunciation notes, maps and pretty much anything else. The company leaves it up to the author to add the content they want, then markets their book as a Beneath The Ink version, potentially boosting sales and readership.

Obviously, the Sharks didn't like the idea enough to invest in, but I thought it was a cool concept. I don't know if I'd enjoy the product as much as a reader (I prefer to stay as far away from the real world as possible when in my book world(s)), but it's neat to think that, as an author, you could contribute something other than words to your work.

My current work in progress takes place in some real places and some imagined. Just for kicks, here are some of the images you might see in a binked version of my book.

A planet of fire and ice
Space Camp Habitat

A space station disguised as a meteor

What do you think about having pictures and notes and other "binks" in your e-books, either as a reader or author? Would love to hear your thoughts!


Unknown said...

Oh, this sounds sweet! I feel like a ton of people would be all over that. Plus, integrating media with reading could definitely attract people who aren't as into reading and more into videos and such.

Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

OMG -- I'd love this product. It's like interactive footnotes. So smart.

Carrie Beckort said...

I think it's pretty awesome!

Jonathan Schramm said...

Thanks for posting, Anne Marie! I think you're right about the appeal, and I personally hope the idea takes off. I know a lot of writers out there create vision/inspiration boards full of pictures, drawings, etc. So to know that you could actually include that stuff in your book would make it all the more fun/useful. Thanks for stopping by!

Jonathan Schramm said...

Thanks, Kimberly. Pretty cool, huh?

Jonathan Schramm said...

That's at least too pretty awesomes, Carrie!

Unknown said...

oh man, I LOVE Shark Tank but totally missed this one!! What a cool idea, wonder why the sharks didn't bite??

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I love that idea! Not only could that enhance the stories, it could open a new way for artists and photographers to make money.

Jonathan Schramm said...

I think they didn't see the profit in it, Beth. Maybe the joke will be on them?

Jonathan Schramm said...

Thanks for commenting, Elizabeth! You know, you're right. You could have a whole production team working on your book.That's it, I'm off to buy some Beneath the Ink stock.

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