Extra Features for Novels

Perfectkillercoverfrontplustext_1DVDs these days come packed with extra features — commentary, documentaries, deleted scenes, bloopers, etc. Now author Lewis Perdue is experimenting with doing the same thing for books, starting with his novel THE PERFECT KILLER. To give his readers a sense of the people, places and details in the story, he’s created a page-specific online index with photos, videos, maps, links, and other information. You could read his book with your laptop open beside you and click along with the story. For instance:

Page 227, coast
snakes northward from the missile gantries of Vandenberg Air Force Base to Big
Sur’s relentlessly beautiful cliffs and surf south

Page 228, Dan
Gabriel jogged along Pecho Valley Road, south of Morro Bay
(more pictures

Page 229, He sprinted the dune
trail, south toward Spooner’s Cove,
but the past matched his pace

Page 230, sight
of a man and a boy of maybe ten

Page 235, San Luis

Page 243, Blackhawk returned and hovered
over the clearing, Armed men hung out the side door


It’s a cool idea. Will it catch on? Who knows…buttake a look and  let Lew know what you think.

8 thoughts on “Extra Features for Novels”

  1. I’m looking at doing a downloadable spoken-word/audio book for the video iPod where the image changes ion context with the words.
    The other alternative would be more of an ebook with hyperlinks to the images and video…but given how ebook readers have sucked so badly, this will probably be a secondary project.

  2. The idea of additional material/backmatter for novels is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now. In the instance of Lewis Perdue, it seems like a good use of this kind of thought; but I wonder, does this accompanying online content listed in the print version of the book? I don’t know what a book publisher’s politics would be regarding this.
    And on the opposite side, I’ve seen books come out with added content only in their paperback release. I don’t know numbrs, but I would think that this type strategy would entice the early-adopting hardcover purchasers to buy the book again in softcover for those additional pages, especially since the softcover price is cheap comparitively.

  3. No mention in the book, but you can get to it via the web … in true publisher fashion, they put my main site URL (ideaworx.com) in the book, but NOT perfectkiller.com
    I think the book and extra material need to be integrated as closely as possible, i.e., audio+video or etext+hyperlinks

  4. How about a word by the author about the writing of the book, sort of an “Author’s Commentary”.
    “The scene with the snake was hell to write. I had the image of glittering scales in my mind, but the room was supposed to be dark – and without light to reflect from the scales, no glitter. Finally, I happened to sleep in a motel room where the curtains couldn’t be fully closed, and I had the answer.”
    “Michael was a tough character. I had originally intended him to be a gay, conservative bike messenger, but it just wouldn’t gel. And I needed him to be present at the climax. So how did he end up being a paraplegic Vietnam vet with a fondness for skirts and Jazz? Here’s how…”
    “And then Al Pacino called and wanted to meet for dinner. Here I was in the middle of the most important chapter three I’d ever written, and Al Pacino breaks my concentration. So I blew him off, only to end up with a month-long writer’s block.”

  5. Patrick: also a good idea … I have info like that on my web site … no reason not to include that as well ..
    My original purpose for the images was to stress the substantial non-fiction aspects of Perfect Killer, especially the existance of the drug and secret government program … but this has taken on a whole other life of its own.


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