"Interactive" eBooks are books which integrate various means by which the "book" can interact with the reader. They often incorporate audio and graphic elements.

My question is as follows:

Is anybody familiar with, or can point me to, any statistics pertaining to the success of interactive eBooks (or lack thereof)?
This can include sales/market share stats, critic or customer reviews, relevant articles, personal opinions from experience.
My goal is to get a feel for how users, on average, are receptive to interactive eBooks as opposed to non interactive books.

I appreciate any insight into the matter.

  • what do you mean by interactive ebook? – idiotprogrammer Aug 20 '18 at 1:11
  • Also, it's helpful to clarify what kind of reading system you are talking about. For example, Kindle has some limitations --- although I think now all the reading systems can support simple quizzes. I don't think the data exists either way -- except perhaps that textbooks with quizzes have sold reasonably well. – idiotprogrammer Aug 20 '18 at 1:14
  • Interactive eBooks are further described here: snapapp.com/blog/interactive-ebooks That page itself has some decent information regarding my question, but further insight would be useful. – Trever Thompson Aug 22 '18 at 21:41
  • It's funny. My first thought was that you were talking about hypertext (Choose Your Own Adventure) narratives. Then I realized you were talking about quizzes, animation, etc. I've noticed that for epub/mobi files there was not much use of interactivity except maybe only on the ipad platform. Other than that, they mainly have been apps -- ie., things which aren't sold in ebookstores. Of course, academic markets are totally their own thing. – idiotprogrammer Aug 23 '18 at 19:10

Publishers have been very slow to push the boundaries of interactive ebooks, outside of education and children's books. One exception is a French language version of H.P. Lovecraft's "Kadath", published by the publisher Mnémos, with Walrus Studio. That seems to have been almost an experiment on their part. ( https://vimeo.com/43381264 )

I've developed epub3 interactive training materials. One consideration is that you have to know how the user will consume the content, as reader apps vary in their compliance with the epub3 standard. Apple's iBooks app is actually quite good. It's what I developed for and tested against, and the only option for reading Kadath.

I suspect that for the average person reading text for entertainment, the demand isn't there. If they want interactivity, they think "app," not "ebook."

  • Can you link to the material you developed? – Trever Thompson Oct 7 '18 at 18:15
  • Unfortunately not - I used proprietary graphics and videos, and the ebooks were loaded onto individual iPads. When I get home this evening, I'll find some sample code for the quizzes. I took advantage of how iBooks handles footnotes (as a pop-up) to provide remediation. I was able to gracefully embed audio tags in the footnotes as well. If I were doing it again today, though, I'd make more use of show/hide divs, rather than abusing semantic markup by labelling them "footnotes". Video pages used straight up HTML5 video tags. I used InDesign to create the core files, then Dreamweaver to "ro – Eclectic Oct 7 '18 at 18:55

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