That’s Intelligent (use of) Content!

The Pillars of the Earth - US Edition book coverPenguin books have taken another step to broaden their reach from paper books to, well, everything. In addition to their line of children’s books/apps for the iPad, they have just announced an eBook with a tie-in to an upcoming TV mini-series.

Ken Follett’s “The Pillars of the Earth”, a multi-generational story set in 12th century England, which focuses on the building of a cathedral in the mythical town of Kingsbridge has sold over 14 million copies in print.

Penguin seems to think that they can sell a few more online.

But of course, this is not a ‘traditional eBook’. It’s what Penguin is calling an “Amplified Edition” for the iPad.

It’s not just a version of the paper book in electronic form. While it includes the text of the book, it also includes video from the mini-series as well as images, a character tree to help readers understand “who’s who” in the story and videos of Ken talking about how he writes. It also includes sketches of the set, information about the costumes and tons of other backstage information.

You’re getting the book, in-depth and background information and the “making of” video for the TV series.

And just as important, (Penguin and their video partner, Starz) claim that the book will be updated with new content.

According to some reviews, there are problems with the actual implementation, and a reviewer suggests that the problems might be due to a rushed release, timed to coincide with the release of the mini-series in a few days, but it’s an interesting way to provide more value the customer from content that already exists; the book and the mini-series.

That’s Intelligent (use of) Content!

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