One of the things I like the most about eBooks is their ability to offer more ways of telling a story. By incorporating the whole range of digital media offerings, your next eBook could be full of bells and whistles.
There is a new eBook publisher, Coliloquy, which is making a name for itself by offering choose your own adventure stories via the eBook format. Not only can the reader plod along a few specific paths, they can see alternative viewpoints from other characters, share insights, vote on outcomes and unlock new portions of the story.
In my opinion, this just scratches the surface when it comes to eBook possibilities.
With the integration of music a savvy author could add a soundtrack for each individual character, mood music or just help set the scene with snazzy sound effects. Suddenly you're adding depth to your story beyond just the words you put down on paper. You can add layers to your story which help enhance the feeling of actually being inside the story.
The possibility of adding video is another way in which eBooks can provide a more fulfilling reading experience. Short clips of action sequences, dreamy flash backs or just something to further draw the reader into the story--make it real--are tools which will soon be at the ready for all eBook authors.
Does this mean the simple act of reading a story, words on paper (digital or not) is going by the wayside? No, of course not.
There will always be a market for great authors who can weave a magical realm with nothing but their words. There is plenty of room in the Digital Age for another Charles Dickens or Jane Austen. Ebooks do not preclude the continued success of wrters who can tell good stories with words.
Having an abundance of new tools for eBooks is a way of making new and exciting books. Books which seem to come to life of their own accord are something altogether different from anything we have seen before. It's a way of tapping the multitude of talents many authors have today--music, film, poetry, technology; whatever they do beside writing, they will soon have the option of including in their eBook.
I think this is great for the industry, great for the authors and great for the readers.