Way back before most music came as a downloaded or streamed digital file, it took physical form in the shape of vinyl records, tape cassettes, and then compact discs. My favourite albums were always those that offered something more than a list of the tracks and which members of the band played which instruments on the recording.


music with added lyrics Image courtesy of Pixabay

I loved the sleeve notes. The extra bits. Like the lyrics to every song, or—if the artist was singing their own material—notes on where each song was written, and why.

Likewise, when it comes to movies, I love the extras there, too.

I had to severely downsize my DVD collection when I made my last house move. The movies I kept tended to be the Special Editions—the ones with a second disc containing bonus features such as a director’s commentary, a making-of documentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, and explanations of the stunts or special effects. I’ve even been known to buy a second copy if it came with some/better/more extras.

Read the whole of this blog over on MurderIsEverywhere.

MURDER IS EVERYWHERE—Sunday, 8th April 2018

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he 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.