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The First iPad-Only Novel Is Coming, With Literal Bells and Whistles

Illustration for article titled The First iPad-Only Novel Is Coming, With Literal Bells and Whistles

Highly regarded Japanese novelist Ryu Murakami isn't releasing his next novel on hardcover or paperback. He's releasing it exclusively on iPad, and including all the multimedia goodies that the platform allows.

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Murakami's novel, A Singing Whale, will feature video elements as well as orchestration by composer Ryuichi Sakamoto—an Academy Award winner for his work on The Last Emperor. So maybe not bells and whistles, per se, but definitely at least one flutist. The novel will cost $17, according to Nikkei, and is ready for download as soon Apple approves it.

It won't be the first time a prominent author has gone exclusive for an ebook reader—Stephen King's Kindle arrangement is probably the most notable example—but those deals often had planned hardcover versions coming out eventually, and didn't include the multimedia aspects that A Singing Whale will. But as ebook readers become more sophisticated, it's not unimaginable that more authors will prefer their versatility over a stack of dead trees.

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Does this herald the end of the traditional publishing industry? Not one bit. But it does show a complementary path that more and more authors will no doubt be tempted to walk down. [WSJ]

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DISCUSSION

platypus222
Platypus Man

OK, so in the Xbox 360 game Lost Odyssey, you're occasionally presented with short stories, most of which are forgotten memories from Kaim, the main character. These are called A Thousand Years of Dreams and were excellent in the game, partially because each one had some music, background effects, and light sound effects. It was all still written on the screen and you had to read it, but I think the extra stuff really added to it.

I doubt that the licensing would ever work out, but I feel like that would be something that would work really well on the iPad.