GoodEReader.com recently covered the latest step in enhanced ebooks, full audio soundtracks. While enhanced ebooks incorporate unheard of amounts of full-color graphics and video files to make the tablet reading experience interactive, companies like Cathedral Rock Publishing have been writing and producing soundtracks to go along with typical ebooks, allowing readers to tap a play button at various points throughout the text and even purchase the audio soundtrack to enjoy outside of the book.
Now, more and more authors are creating playlists for their books, utilizing free music sites like Spotify and download sites like the iTunes store. While the playlists sometimes revolve around actual scenes in the book, such as a crucial plot point taking place in a dark, loud night club or two characters meeting at the wedding of a mutual friend, many authors are even incorporating their favorite “writing music” into a downloadable playlist for their fans. As more readers want to discover the back story, like the upcoming release of much of J. K. Rowling’s notes on the writing of the Harry Potter series via Pottermore.com, fans are interested in every aspect of the creative process that led to their favorite books, including music.
“Book soundtracks like these have become increasingly popular among authors and readers, especially as the connection between writers and their audience has become more interactive, and as the fast popularity of music-streaming services like Spotify have made it easy to share songs online. But while a song on a movie soundtrack might be there because of a licensing deal or to boost an artist on a label also owned by the studio, author playlists, when done well, can deepen a character and enhance a reader’s connection,” noted Jami Attenberg and David Daley in an article from Salon.com (Aug 19, 2011).
The technology that supports digital reading and encourages the interaction between titles, authors, and readers lends itself to the total experience of digital reading. Virtual book signings, blog tours, interactive content, and social media platforms provide an unprecedented level of familiarity with authors. The music of writing is the next logical step.