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Now, you may not think that an interactive book falls under the category of social media because it’s the format of the actual product, not just a way to publicize it. But look out. The divide between format and publicity is collapsing. An interactive book is, by definition, social and it is, by definition, media. The ways to make a social book are so limitless, you’re likely to invent a way of your own. Let’s look at some examples to get your muse fired up.

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Books that are printed and then interactive:

Skeleton Creek
This is a book series. The reader buys the book, which is a back and forth between two protagonists, one writing and the other emailing video blogs to the first. You read a chapter from the first protagonist and then there is a website and password at the end of the chapter. You log onto that site and watch the vlog of the second protagonist. Then go back to the book. It goes back and forth multiple times to heighten the tension of this creepy mystery series for kids. Check out the Skeleton Creek website. If you scroll to the right on the video bar, there is one video called How To that explains it all.

Trackers
Kind of along the same lines is Trackers. There’s a book, and there are videos on the website–both which are critical in the telling of the story.

Cathy’s Book
Here is a book that comes with not only websites but phone numbers to help tell the story. And it is available in audio format. And there is now an app to go with it. Try the book out yourself.

Books that are interactive before they’re printed:

Loser Queen
Then there are the books that users help create. Like Loser Queen, where you can read chapters online and vote on how the next one will go. The book eventually will be printed as a book for sale.

Burbank with a Baedeker
This is the fictional blog of fictional author Milo H. Tomb. It’s written from the point of view of people who don’t exist. And the comments are just as much a part of the story as the posts. But here’s the fun part: Readers can leave comments on the blog, interact with the characters, and in some cases even change the outcome of the story. The story is over now, but you can go back and see what occurred while it was live and even add more comments if you’d like.

Neil Gaiman’s Twitter Book
With BBC Audio Books America, fantasy novelist Neil Gaiman has created a novel by taking fans’ input on Twitter. Gaiman tweeted the first line. Fans using the hashtag #bbcawdio wrote the next lines. BBC moderated it to keep the story somewhat cohesive all the way until the end of the book. Then it’s recorded in the studio as an audio book.

And beyond!

With the development of Four Square and Facebook Places, can you create a city-wide interactive novel that causes people to go out and find parts of the story around town (like a scavenger hunt)–through pages, wall scrawl, actors, video, word of mouth, etc.? What about smart phone apps? What about the advancement of eReaders? Will Choose Your Own Adventure books come back via a digital media? Will you read, watch, and listen all on the same device? Open your mind. Many companies are already publishing enhanced ebooks for e-readers and the iPad.

Useful Links:
A Primer on Interactive Books (Edutopia)