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Thursday, March 21, 2013

More Author Insight: Digital Extras

Digital extras have become an expectation in publishing. Is there a concern that readers who aren't plugged in will miss something or are electronic extras just gravy?

"I love digital extras, and I view them as a chance to flesh out the world or the characters or the background for a story. A good book should be self-contained, but why bother writing extras if they don't add something meaningful? Which I guess is another way of saying 'You don't HAVE to read the extras, but if you have access to them why wouldn't you?'" - Dan Wells, author of Fragments. 

"I’m not concerned about readers missing out on “extras.” Of course, I also don’t really have much intention to write bonus material at this time. I tend to be of the “If it didn’t make it into the novel, it probably wasn’t super important” mentality. But I don’t think extras are bad in general—and they can be fun for big fans—they just don’t appeal to me as a writer." - Natalie Whipple, author of Transparent

"Electronic extras are definitely gravy. They’re little snacks between meals. But if you miss the e-book snack, you aren’t going to starve." - Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and the Cursed

"I think that readers who are engaged online with books and publishers and authors should be rewarded, and sharing digital extras is a great way to do that. Then again, I’m less concerned with some readers missing out on material than I am by the fact that digital extras are expected of me now, as a writer. I have a hard enough time writing the book." - Nova Ren Suma, author of 17 & Gone.

"I think extras for the sake of it are a waste of time. If a story is good enough, all you need is words on a page to keep the reader gripped. Extras only work, when they actually provide something additional. In my second book, Waiting for Gonzo, the main character is a huge music fan and listens to lots of bscure (invented) bands. A friend of mine recorded a soundtrack album of ten original songs for these bands. You don’t need to hear the music to enjoy the story, but it’s an added bonus if you want to." - Dave Cousins, author of 15 Days Without a Head.

"I don't use a kindle or any other device. I have my computer or more often my phone. I think if a fan wants more information, they'll find time to read it. Like, say, in fourth period English class while I'm teaching." - Suzanne Young, author of The Program.

"The story is the core, the meat, just like it's always been since the first stories were written down. Nothing will change that, no matter what the digital world does or doesn't do. I focus on my characters, their desires and longings and schemings, what they're smelling and feeling. That's what's important in story-telling. The extras are just pleasant background noise." - Emma Carlson Berne, author of Never Let Go

"I think that’s a real concern, not so much in the missing of the extras, but that the rush to make everything digit is cutting out a significant portion of the reading population. Growing up in a lower income situation, libraries and free reads become life preservers, but if accessing them requires a device that requires not only purchase, but upkeep, then that lifeline drifts out of reach. I hate the implication that technology is so important that such things are no longer worthy concerns." - Josin McQuein, author of Arclight

"I don’t have any of this stuff, but it’s not a concern. I believe books succeed and fail on their merits, or lack thereof." - Scott Blagden, author of Dear Life, You Suck

"Gravy! Whatever form it is presented in, the book should still ultimately be judged as a book." - Lindsey Leavitt, author of Going Vintage

"I was writing way before the techno-revolution, so I'm not too keen on digital extras and don't enjoy reading on my iPad unless it's the only option.  Still, I'm realistic enough to know that if my new books aren't available as e-books, I'm missing out on sales." - Lois Ruby, author of Rebel Spirits

Come back Tuesday to find out which characters cause the authors the most problems!

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