toccon-bug.gifPeter Meyers, A New Kind of Book. Even Apple is focusing on the “dark ages” Epub standard which just recreates old fashioned paper books.

How to reconfigure books the way that modern brains have been reconfigured by the web and technology. All this can be done with current software. These are ideas that can be used to “enhance” a book in new and different ways.

The Colonel Fitzwilliam problem: keeping track of many characters in a book can be tough. Put into each book a “tap” that will take you to a quick summary of the character whose nome you tapped on. Enhancing doesn’t have to mean super multimedia.

Give me back my notes: for note takers, the current tools make highlighting and note taking easy, but it isn’t easy to find them later. No easy way to browse notes on current reader. Build into the book a simple browser for all notes and highlighting.

Shiny, happy poems: for poems create an interface that is fun to play with by shining light on interesting content- need to see the slides to understand this. Makes sense when you see it on the screen.

Table of contents: current state of the art is that toc is boring and limited. Can use it to improve a books browsability, and inspire the reader to jump to interesting parts of books. Use the toc to draw the reader into the book rather than just provide info. Use an “inspire me” button, for example in a cookbook, to take reader to something new.

Create bite-sized entertainment: create “books” that are full of short stuff that are like reading Twitter and Facebook.

Tune in, next week: from the sitcom format publishers can take the “hooks” that drew people back time after time. Short story given away for free and then charge for a new story each week, like a continuing sitcom series. Combine stories and tweets, for example.

New media, new messages: how about IM-inspired fiction as a base for a book. Chat fiction.

Active scripts: developed a way to read a stage play with extra information flowing along side of the action.

Sidebars and footnotes: make this an active part of the book rather than a pain. Allow them to inject themselves into the text, for example a footnote challenging the claims of the author could push the author’s words off the screen and display an alternative view.

The point is to take “standard” elements of the book and use them on the iPad in ways that would be impossible in a normal book or on a plain text reader like a Kindle.