Beneath the Ink enhances e-books without the need of a new app
January 16, 2014 | 12:15 pm
NEW YORK –Beneath the Ink had something to celebrate on Tuesday night.
The start-up won a Digital Book Award for E-book Fixed Format/Enhanced – Adult Fiction for Emma Boling’s book “Mistress of France.”
Beneath the Ink is a service for e-book enhancements including video, picture, text information and more – whatever you can imagine to fit in an e-book, Beneath the Ink can find a way to put it there.
One of the big differences with Beneath the Ink is that the enhancements are seamless within the e-book. There are no external links, which has been seen in many other “enhanced” e-books. All capabilities such as watching a video happen right in the e-reader or e-book application without needing a separate app.
“This is an exciting process,” said Beneath the Ink’s Olivia Tufo. “So many e-books have just been a reprint of the text in digital form. Binks (the enhancements) don’t disrupt the reading experience.”
When a reader clicks on a highlighted word, the texts split on the screen for either text, images, videos, recipes or audio files. Once done, you click away and continue reading without leaving the screen.
In Boling’s book, one of the important assets was including character information. With more than 40 characters in “Mistress of France,” those Binks came in hand when after dozens a pages, a character comes back. It gave a refresher for the characters.
The process for authors is currently easy and affordable, according to Tufo. One project currently costs $25 with an unlimited amount of Binks in any e-book. A book is uploaded into Beneath the Ink software where authors can add Binks often using a drag and drop feature.
One of the drawbacks could be how the books are distributed. Beneath the Ink will distribute the book to platforms such as Amazon or Apple’s iBookstore. Beneath the Ink will work with each individual author to come up with the percentage Beneath the Ink will make on each book sold. However, Tufo says the cost is generally small (low single digit percentage), and book sale information will be available to authors.
Currently, there is no dashboard for sales information, but Tufo says that is something that Beneath the Ink is developing.
Beneath the Ink worked on a few classics to give readers and authors an idea of how the enhancements work. It enhanced A Christmas Carol as well as a few Sherlock Holmes stories such as “A Case of Identity” and “The Red-Headed League.”
“The Red-Headed League” is free in the iBookstore.