As a news reporter, I prefer telling stories with great sound and riveting video -- and I love showing others how to use multimedia too.
For years, I've worked with journalists and non-profit people to produce quality video and get them comfortable and articulate on camera. I always wanted to write down my techniques but thought text could never do my tips justice. How could I write a book about being great on camera without video demonstrations?
Then I found the enhanced ebook publisher Vook.
Video + Book
An "enhanced" ebook (yes, it sounds slightly suggestive) combines text with video, audio, and hyperlinks.
The video is actually embedded right in the page -- so you can be reading along and then watch a video that demonstrates or adds something extra to the story. Reading about Pilates? See how to do the exercises. Researching social media? Watch how small businesses are using it. Multimedia ebooks look amazing on the iPad, Nook, or Kindle Fire. Vook has created a desktop reader that lets you read and watch them on a PC or laptop too.
Tablets and online video are exploding. Combine that with the self-publishing boom and multimedia ebooks are just getting hot. And it's not just Vook -- there are other new multimedia tools out there like Aerbook Maker and Kwik (read this article from PBS's Mediashift for more).
How to do it
The key is to think through what kind of video content can add to your writing.
Here are some ideas for various genres:
Writing a book about flower arranging? Demonstrate your favorite techniques. You're an expert at computer programming? Show us your computer set up and how you maximize your productivity.
2. Business and Finance
Include a video of you making a killer presentation or interviews with CEOs who have implemented your strategies.
Do a video diary, explaining how you get your ideas. Show us your reality behind the romance.
Create short video profiles of your favorite restaurants or cafés and interview the locals.
Commission an art student to produce animated scenes from your book or include a video of you doing a reading at the local library.
Creating an ebook is relatively easy, even for non-techies like me. Writing and filming Camera Ready took 6 months, from start to publish.
Self-publishing is no longer stigmatized and ebooks are outselling hard copies. If you are reading this you get that technology is dismantling the publishing industry. An enhanced multimedia ebook is an innovative way to stand out, reach a growing mobile audience, and stay ahead of the digital curve.
Every Friday, HuffPost's Culture Shift newsletter helps you figure out which books you should read, art you should check out, movies you should watch and music should listen to. Learn more