Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New innovations are changing how we read

Some innovations bring dramatic changes our daily routines, but others modify what we do and help us to carry on some of the same activities in different ways. Both types of innovation have their place. Today I would like to talk about an innovation that fits in the second category.

As many of you know I work at a Christian start-up helping publishers and authors to bring their content into eBook format in an interactive environment. Our endeavor is called Novo Ink and I have had the privilege to bring hundreds of powerful resources online in the last few months.

But one of the projects I am most proud of (and one of the reasons I have not been blogging as much) is launching this week. It is our first Enhanced eBook that we are releasing. And it is a big one. We have partnered with David C. Cook to release Francis Chan's book Crazy Love in an enhanced edition.

Now other people are doing enhanced eBooks, but I want to talk about how we did ours and how these resources will change how we read. Most enhanced eBooks are a lot like DVD's with an "extras" menu of interviews, images, cut scenes, etc. However, that isn't going to change reading - that simply throws more information at info-saturated readers.

In this product I got to work with the editorial team at David C. Cook and we brainstormed how to bring video, audio and web resources into the book in a way that helps the reader gain clearer understanding, new insights and different perspectives. So instead of clunky transitions between an intro video and starting the book as it has always started, we integrated the new resources throughout the chapters. The team at Cook did a great job selecting video/audio/links that really bring home the ideas that Francis is sharing and allow you to see them in a new light.

In the end this version of Crazy Love has 10 videos, 9 audio clips and over 50 web links to videos, resources and devotionals. All that content relates directly to what is going on in the book and provides a rich ecosystem for Francis' idea.

These enhanced products, if done organically, will allow you to connect with the author, hear from them, interact with resources that they care about and learn in a deeper way. This innovation doesn't change the fact that you will read Crazy Love, but it will change what you get out of it and how you share it.

I am so excited to share this innovative product with each of you who have been a part of this "Innovation in Mission" journey for so long. I hope you will take the time to check it out and buy a copy to read. I have spent a lot of time with Francis (or so it seems from the amount of time with this content :) ) and I know that this resource will be a blessing as you seek to grow in your love for Jesus. Click here to check it out.

So as you consider your next innovation, ask yourself the question: "Is this innovation designed to change everything or is it focused on modifying an existing process." The answer to that question will be a very significant "ah-ha" moment on your journey!