Would you listen to an eBook? Booktrack hopes so

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The idea is neat, writes G&B guest blogger Alyssa Clarkson, but she wonders if it takes away from your own imagination having all the sound effects predetermined for you.

Sometimes the books that I read unintentionally become linked to whatever I’m listening to at the time; so much so, that when I go back and read them again years later, in my head I hear the original music I was listening to when I read them the first time. Now some eBook technology allows authors to provide a soundtrack with their books.

Using a recently re-launched eBook soundtrack platform, called Booktrack, authors can include both music and sound effects to their eBook files. The platform includes an audio library of over 20,000 tracks that can be used to enhance the book reading experience. Individuals who are so inclined can also add soundtracks to works that are in the public domain. I tried reading a version of Sherlock Holmes that a user had posted.

Another trend is for authors to post unofficial soundtracks to their books on their blogs.

These soundtracks could be related to songs that the characters themselves listen to during the scenes in the book. An example of this is the recent book Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. The story is about two teens that fall in love in the days before the internet, exchanging mix tapes including songs by the Smiths, U2 and Joy Division. Rowell has a blog post that extensively identifies not only the music that is part of the story, but also the songs the she was thinking about while writing particular scenes.

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This past spring new-adult fiction author Colleen Hoover released a novel called Maybe Someday about two song writers collaborating to create songs together. While the book obviously contains the lyrics to the songs as part of the story, Hoover collaborated with singer Griffin Peterson to actually create the music and record the songs. You can buy both the book and the accompanying album and listen to the songs as you read about the characters creating them, and the eBook contains QR codes in each chapter that links to the song that chapter.

First audio books, and now books with soundtracks; it seems eReaders are working hard to bring a multimedia experience to the old print and paper model.

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