Enhanced eBooks: Has Their Time Come?

The ability to embed video and audio into ebooks has been around for a while. However, currently, few ebooks carry this enhancement beyond books in the Children’s category.

Embedding audio or video in an ebook and animated covers or graphics are what usually comprise an animated ebook. Over the years, a few services have sprung up to offer authors the ability to animate their ebooks. However, the concept has yet to truly take hold for authors and readers.

All that may soon change.


Amazon has now entered the animated ebook picture with a new service: Kindle in Motion. This new feature for Kindle ebooks creates another way for authors to enhance the reading experience for their ebooks. Kindle in Motion enhancements include animated covers, picture backgrounds for pages, and video clips. All of these features are embedded within the ebook.

Currently, Amazon’s new Kindle in Motion is only available for a limited number of titles—all from Amazon’s Publishing division. These titles that contain Kindle in Motion are all fiction titles, mostly mystery, thrillers, and children’s stories. It appears that Amazon is testing the service and may open it up to all authors in the near future.

Through adding animation, authors can enhance their stories with pictures and video. Authors can give back stories in videos, and show story setting and character appearances with pictures. Enhancements allow authors to become creative with their stories beyond the written word.

Whether readers will take to these added elements in a book is still yet to be seen. Some readers think the enhancements are distracting, others like them. I suspect that, like all new technological advances, it will take time for readers to begin to embrace new elements in a book.

One drawback with Kindle in Motion is file size. Text does not take much storage space; hence file size is fairly small for most ebooks. However, as animation is added to ebooks, their file size will increase. Increased file size will mean longer download times and more space consumed on reading devices.

I am curious. Are you interested in adding animated enhancements to your ebooks? What do you see as the benefits?

Related Posts:
Animated Book Covers
Children Are Avid eBook Readers
Amazon Kindle’s Instant Preview

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4 thoughts on “Enhanced eBooks: Has Their Time Come?

  1. Hi Sarah!
    This is very interesting. I have a couple of children’s animated e-books that I share with my grand-girl when we’re together. They are a lot of fun. Loud Crow makes my favorite animated book apps with about four Beatrix Potter selections and they are brilliant! Also, there’s a delightful Charlie Brown Christmas with the soundtrack and character voices from the 1965 cartoon on interactive pages. For kids–this is engaging. But, I wonder–television took a lot of the imagination work away from us with the images already materialized. If reading books becomes too visually realized, we lose again in some sphere of creativity to imagine what we read looking or sounding a particular way. Just a thought. I expect today’s youth will grow into it and not think anything of it.

    Thanks for the heads up on this! Will be watching!


  2. Kathryn: You raise a good point about what enhanced books may do to the creativity to imagine.


  3. Who was it said, “I prefer books to movies; the pictures are better”?
    My own view is that these additions will be more beneficial to non-fiction than to fiction.
    The file size issue is significant though. Especially where Amazon charges the publisher per Megabyte for downloads.


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