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Is There a Future for Illustrated E-Books?
Illustrated books are having trouble adapting to the new e-book world

The problem with illustrations for e-books, Shatzkin posits, is that they’re generally intended to be instructive—but tablets offer the ability to include video instructions rather than simple still images. So why not just do that instead? It does require different skill sets, and you end up with something more like an app and less like a book, but if it meets the need better, what reason could you have for sticking with simple still images? (And why would any reader buy something with simple still images when he could get video instead?) And if the publisher still has to produce a print version anyway, this means he’s just spent a lot of extra money on video for just the on-line version that isn’t going to do one thing for the print.

Also, someone reading a book with an e-ink reader could generally only be distracted by some other e-ink book, but someone with a tablet could read his email, social networks, watch videos, surf the web, and so on. And there are an awful lot of instructional resources free on-line that might serve the same purpose as the purchased book.

Shatzkin suggests that the best place for illustrated e-books might be as part of a vertically-integrated strategy, in which the company producing them uses them as a component of a system of events and tie-ins that could give people other reasons to buy them.

Complete article here.