When you’re reading an e-book, have you ever caught yourself wishing it had a better soundtrack? Or, for that matter, a soundtrack at all? Start-up company Booktrack seems to think that all the problems with people not wanting to read anymore can be fixed by adding ambient music and sound effects to e-books.
The books include some new titles as well as some public-domain works, and are currently only available for iOS devices (though will be launching on Android soon). I personally have a hard time imagining anybody will find this desirable save for brief novelty value; it puts me in mind of the gimmicks that William Castle used to try to get people in to see his schlocky movies. (Smell-o-vision, anyone?) But Booktrack CEO Paul Cameron claims publishers find the idea attractive.
“It’s all about monetization angles,” Cameron said. “When we take this to publishers, they instantly say, ‘It can help us stand out in the market place and sell more books.’ It rejuvenates back catalogs. Imagine bringing back Stephen King with a soundtrack.” (The company does not currently have a deal with Stephen King.)
Stand out in the market, maybe. But is it in a way they want? Certainly anybody stands out when people point and laugh at them.