Link of the Week: Incorporating Augmented Reality Into Books

Traditional print books and ebooks are getting technological facelifts that aim to make readers’ experiences more immersive, and publishers are only just starting to discover the possibilities.

Considering the constant advancements in technology, coding print books for e-readers is far from the end of the evolution timeline for interactive books. Established publishers are currently exploring how to use phone apps to interact with readers, such as what’s being done by Melville House‘s HybridBooks Project and Sourcebooks’ DragonHunters trilogy. These examples typically use apps as quick ways to search text in a book or to give pictures 3-D effects.

What it looks like to view the Modern Polaxis app over images in the book.

Modern Polaxis and Head and Neck Anatomy, which are both successful Kickstarters, use their apps as crucial storytelling and learning components respectively. While HybridBooks Projects and DragonHunters don’t require apps to fully appreciate or understand the material in the book, Modern Polaxis and Head and Neck Anatomy include so much information across these platforms that having just a copy of the book is having only half of the full experience.

What it looks like to read a Sensory Fiction book with all the gear needed.

There are even projects that take the blend of books and technology beyond including apps and ebooks. Sensory Fiction is one company that aims to accomplish this by using a vest and a digital e-reader to generate physical reactions (like temperature and vibrations) to complement what’s being read.

The amount of progress being made in the world of book publishing to create new and memorable reading experiences using technology feels like it’s only just beginning. There’s going to be room for exploration and growth in this area that will impact the future of publishing, whether it’s discovering new ways to incorporate technology or helping to carry-out ideas that become the norm in publishing. These changes happen so fast, it’s important to be aware of now and consider as we move forward with our publishing careers.

Link of the Week: National Library Week

“Libraries Transform” is the theme for this year’s National Library Week, which started on April 9th and will end on the 15th.

With observance led by the American Library Association (ALA), one week every April is dedicated to recognizing the importance and contributions of libraries and librarians nationwide. This week will include events such as National Library Workers Day, National Bookmobile Day, and Take Action for Libraries Day, as well as other celebrations.

To commemorate specific, timely aspects of the library industry, the theme of this year’s week is “Libraries Transform.” “Libraries Transform” is meant to draw attention to how libraries have grown throughout American history, and how they still strive to be an essential resource and hub of knowledge for the community.

Libraries around New York are posting activities to take part in, and getting involved is also easy to do to show support for the work of local libraries and librarians.

Link of the Week: National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, which is dedicated to celebrating poetry’s impact on culture and society.

Publishers from W.W. Norton (and their poetry oriented website, Poets Out Loud) to Scholastic are amongst the many organizations participating in National Poetry Month. Helmed by the Academy of American Poets, participants are encouraged to host, participate, or attend poetry readings and similar events, share poetry and writing challenges online, get involved with poetry-based activities, and find other ways to inspire and be inspired by poems all month long.

Another way to show support during National Poetry Month is to check-out some poetry journals. Poetry journals are a great way to explore trending themes in poems and to analyze a wide variety of work from different poets, especially for someone who doesn’t know a lot about poetry. For anyone looking for longer collections, some recent must-read titles to start with are  Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong, Bestiary by Donika Kelly, Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet, and The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson.

Link of the Week: Bookwitty

Bookwitty is an online service designed to simplify readers’ discovery of books, and other book-relevant information, by providing  recommendations based on context rather than popularity.

One of many online-based resources to match new specific types of books and authors to its users, Bookwitty is a growing platform that posts books and pertinent publishing articles. A multicultural catalogue of upwards to 26 million books, Bookwitty not only matches readers with books but also sells them at discounted prices. Bookwitty also encourages social media practices by offering playlists of books, information and novel discovery pages, and other services to help and appeal to book lovers and publishers.

Link of the Week: Hootsuite

Hootsuite helps interns and/or employees who handle social media platforms stay organized and informed while managing posts across multiple channels.

Social media is crucial in publishing, and being on top of what is getting posted where and keeping track of analytics for multiple sites can be tricky to balance. Known as being one of the most reliable social media dashboards, Hootsuite is a social media manager that hosts noteworthy social media sites (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, Tumblr, YouTube and Google+) in one place to allow users to easily cycle through them without clicking between tabs, schedule and post messages to one or all platforms, track mentions of your business and related tags, and analyze traffic on all attached channels. Hootsuite is meant to make utilizing social media sites simpler while also showing areas of potential growth and weakness to get the most out of each platform.

By using Hootsuite and other social media tools, interns and employees can get a stronger handle on how to optimize their communication with followers and better operate these aspects of the business.

 

Link of the Week: HarperCollins Bots Recommend Books Through Facebook Messenger

HarperCollins has added two new AI services to Facebook Messenger, which are designed to give on-demand book recommendations.

Publishers are continuously working to find new ways to interact with readers and give recommendations online as effectively as Amazon has managed to. As the first publishers to utilize Facebook and the Facebook Messenger feature, HarperCollins has added two new bots that Facebook users can access: BookGenie and Epic Reads. BookGenie is available on HarperCollins main Facebook page and the YA-focused Epic Reads is available on their Facebook page.

It all begins with you engaging either BookGenie or Epic Reads in a Facebook Messenger conversation. From there, the bots ask questions to determine what books you may be into, starting with a book you’ve recently read and how you enjoyed it. After you stumble upon a title that looks interesting to you, the bot provides a link directly to the HarperCollins website to encourage people to buy from them.

It’s interactive, definitely, and a fun way to get to know new titles directly from the publisher. While it’s not nearly as pervasive as what Amazon does with their recommendation bars on search pages—especially since they restrict their recommendations to books published only  by HarperCollins—it’s a new way to get people to feel more connected to the HarperCollins brand and have fun while doing it.

Link of the Week: Women’s National History Month

The official site for Women’s National History Month is documenting all the major American institutions that are taking part in “commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history” this March.

The Library of Congress and National Archives and Records Administration are just two of the many noteworthy organizations that are participating in Women’s National History Month. The official site for Women’s National History Month is a great jumping-off point to finding out what is being done to honor women in American history.

The literary and publishing achievements of women are also being recognized outside of government-funded establishments. Big publishers like Penguin Random House are featuring a reading challenge of books written exclusively by women. The New York Public Library is also dedicating this month to sharing everything from digital collections of published works by and about women to posts about notable leading ladies in books. These sources are all good to look into for getting into celebrating a month of the importance and strength of women.

Link of the Week: NYC Wix Lounge

 The Wix Lounge in New York City is a membership-based program that offers space to hosts events, exhibits, and collaborations, as well as workshops, online website assistance, and other support for professionals in young, growing businesses.

The Wix Lounge caters to individuals and groups who need space to work or guidance to incorporate technology into their marketing plans. While useful for smaller visions, Wix has about 90 million users worldwide and operating out of 190 countries, allowing them a firsthand understanding of global outreach to better assist larger projects. Though they do emphasize providing in-person workspace access in Manhattan, Wix also gives members access to website building that doesn’t rely on a knowledge of coding and help with how to lay it out. This is a great company for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and free-lancers to consider signing up for because of the amount of services and aid that Wix gives to members.

Link of the Week: Making the Library of Congress More Accessible

A little over a year into her position as the 14th Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden continues to make content digitization and social media outreach of the Library of Congress priorities.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, filled with an impressive archive of magazines, books, and documents from the lives of prominent Americans dating back to its founding in 1800. Though it’s open to the public, nothing in the library may be taken out. To make library materials more accessible to the public, Hayden has doubled-down on continuing work with The Internet Archive in their ongoing efforts to digitize the contents of their library (so far they’re a little over 16 years into the process). Some of their most famous collections to be scanned online so far range from the Rosa Park Papers to the Abraham Lincoln Papers.

She also has made it a point to have more of a social media presence to include more people in what goes on at the national library, something new for a Librarian of Congress.

In a role historically given to white men, Hayden is the first black woman to be the Librarian of Congress, something that has given her the title of “radical librarian”—though she thinks that a woman holding this position reflects the workforce (85% of librarians are women) and that “leading the largest symbol of knowledge in the world is quite momentous” as a black woman when black people have historically been denied the right to read and were punished for doing so. Hayden’s achievements and dedication to this prestigious job is something she hopes will inspire black children that they can succeed in any area they feel passionate about.

Link of the Week: 12-Year-Old Founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks Gets Book Deal

Scholastic announced that they will be publishing a book by and about activist Marley Dias, the founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks.

What started as a passion project fueled by the disappointment with the lack of black female protagonists in books read in classes, Dias’s mission of finding 1000 books starring black girls in children’s literature has expanded to a social movement. Having collected over 8,000 books so far with black female main characters—well beyond her initial goal of 1,000 titles—Dias continues to use her voice to gather book titles that let black girls have heroes to look up to that she couldn’t find in school books.

Scholastic shares that Dias’s book will be about how she was able to take her dream and make it into a reality, and provides tips and lessons to motivate other children into working to make their own aspirations into a reality. She is also thrilled about working with Scholastic, saying they are “the perfect partner for spreading my message of diversity, inclusion and social action.”