Hybrid Books

Hybrid cars. We all know what those are: a combination gas and electricity fueled vehicle.

Hybrid corn. Most of us know that it is inbred, cross-pollinated strain of corn that produces a high yield of ears and is disease-resistant.

Hybrid books. What are those?

Recently, Melville House Publishing (MPH) announced that they have begun producing hybrid books.

MPH says that their “HybridBook” is an innovative publishing program that takes the concept of the enhanced ebook and integrates it with print media. I think that means a combination of print book and media features (photos, videos, etc.).

Basically, MPH is publishing a series of novels that will have ancillary digital materials on the web. These materials will include mostly maps and illustrations. Consumers who purchase the print book will be able to access these extra materials through a QR code printed inside the book. The additional resources will also be able to be accessed through the Internet.

It sounds to me like MPH has simply put a fancy name (HybridBook) on an already existing concept. Many publishers already offer extra materials for many print books on a book’s website. These materials include videos, photos, and even extra short stories about characters in novels.

I will give MPH credit for their marketing savvy. Putting a fancy name on an already existing concept is truly smart marketing.

So, I guess if you publish a book with any type of ancillary materials that you make available on the web, you, too, can claim that you publish hybrid books. Just be sure not to infringe on the HybridBooks name that MPH is using.

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