While I love books of all genres, styles and lengths, there is a certain form of book that can quickly rise to the top of my 'favorite' list. This book isn't a casual relationship: I don't put it down, walk away, and never look back. This is a book that makes me a fan, and oftentimes, this is a book that is more than what's on the pages. Whether it features an interactive website I can find bonus content on, a scavenger hunt, or later turns into a movie, my favorite books transform themselves, and take on their own life.
Some might say these books use transmedia storytelling to accomplish their goals. Basically, the story is told in more than one format. Video game, website, book, artwork; transmedia storytelling gets to me as a reader because it allows me to become part of things. Harry Potter did this with Pottermore, The Lunar Chronicles have begun to do this with their marketing campaign. Piece by piece, they build communities where readers can engage in the stories they've come to love.
With the rapid rise of the e-book industry, I feel storytelling looses some of this magic. Books come out so rapidly, stay in our computer screens, and struggle to break free of those confines. While I love Indie works, and I read my fair share of e-books, I think this is a challenge authors need to address. A book can't always just be a book. To thrive in today's market, it needs to be more.
Fans embrace whatever outlets are given to them. If I find a good book, I can review it, I can talk about it, but sometimes, that is the end of our relationship. To truly engage in a book, bring my friends, and share it together is the next step up. Not every book can capture this sort of magic, or bring itself to life. But those that do earn my respect. Art, online content, interaction: however you choose to break the dimensions of a story doesn't matter. Just let it live a little beyond the book pages.