Posts Tagged ‘Bonus Features’

Matters Related: what else do you put in a book besides the story?

MURDER IS EVERYWHERE—Sunday, 8th April 2018

The eBook revolution was a burst of sudden freedom for the content of books of all types, but especially for novels. Suddenly, there was almost no limit to how much you could include alongside the actual story. A bit like when DVD replaced videotape as the movie medium of choice. Now you had ‘making of’ documentaries, directors’ commentaries, deleted scenes, interviews, stunt reels, and alternative endings, alongside the main event.

Bonus Features

Those are the bonus features that fascinate me as a movie viewer. I’ve even been known to buy again a movie I already owned on DVD if the new edition had all those kind of extras on it. Why not the same with novels?

If your story is set in a particular (real) location, would maps of the area add to the feel of it, or provide an unnecessary distraction? Or perhaps it is more of a requirement if your story is set in a fictional locale like GAME OF THRONES.

If you write a series where the books come out at intervals, wouldn’t it be a good idea to remind the reader of the story so far, or would new readers use that to catch up and no longer need to buy/borrow the backlist?

The question is how much information do you include? The jacket copy synopsis? Or simply a couple of lines to tempt the new reader and remind the existing fans? Do you include an excerpt from the next book at the end of this, as further encouragement to keep reading?

More matters related – what extras would you like to read? – in my Murder Is Everywhere blog

This week’s Word of the Week is Barmecide, meaning someone who offers something that’s disappointing or an illusion. The word comes from the Arabic Barmakī, who was a prince in the Arabian Nights tales, who offered a beggar a banquet which consisted of decorative but empty dishes.