By Edward Nawotka
In the current era, we often discuss how publishers are experimenting with new formats in digital publishing, be it in the form of apps, transmedia or multi-platform publishing. But you here less and less about experimentation in print. McSweeney’s is perhaps the best known for innovative packaging of their literary magazines — and has inspired imitators. But few other publishers have gone out on a limb with interesting experiments to lure readers. Certainly there are the occasional boxed sets with a few extras, books packaged with CDs, and the infrequent double-sided novel, but not much else.
This seems like a lost opportunity, especially when one considers the excitement that could be generated by a little out-of-the box thinking. The additional unit cost is certainly a factor holding publishers back, but considering the investment so many publishers already have in print — and the erosion of sales due to digital — do they really have a choice but to try something new? Booksellers would certainly welcome having something a little different and new to sell that didn’t require a plug or wasn’t a toy, game, t-shirt or coffee mug. So why not?
Let us know what you think in the comments.