In some ways book publishing is still a quaint business. Writer writes a book, publisher prints it on paper, bookstore sells it. But with the Internet and the Kindle and the iPhone turning everything topsy-turvy, publishers and authors are reinventing their products.
Somewhat fittingly, marketing expert Bob Gilbreath's The Next Evolution of Marketing released in October with a companion iPhone app that features visuals and screen shots that simply can't exist in a printed edition. Plus, the app updates all the case studies cited in the book. That solves one of the big problems with non-fiction books - they can be outdated quickly.
"The core idea is that you could quickly access examples from the book by starting up the app and scrolling down to the specific page number," said Gilbreath, the chief marketing strategist of digital marketing agency Bridge Worldwide. "When I bring up the example of Dove's Evolution video, you could quickly go to that page, hit the link, and start viewing the video on YouTube on your iPhone."
Novelists are turning to the iPhone too. Author Nick Cave's The Death of Bunny Munro, released this fall in hardcover and as iPhone ebook that can be read, listened to or watched, since the author has recorded video of himself reading - and loosely enacting - the book.
Instead of using Facebook to merely promote his book Viral Loop, author Adam Penneberg teamed with StudioE9 to actually demonstrate the tenants of the book (subtitled From Facebook to Twitter, How Today's Smartest Businesses Grow Themselves). The app uses Facebook to tell you exactly what you are worth in dollars to, well, Facebook, basing your value to the company on its $6 billion valuation and your relative activity level and number of friends compared to everyone else on the social network. No word yet on what you are worth to the publisher if you end up buying the book.