The New Digital Frontier: Interactive Covers

Digital book cover changes when you touch it

Next year, UK publisher Walker Books will release Daylight Saving, a YA novel by Edward Hogan. And as a promotional tool, they developed an interactive cover that ripples when you drag your mouse over it.

Needless to say, I have wasted a good part of my morning playing with it.  

You can see it at this link. It comes with sharing links and a countdown clock leading up to the release of the book. 

Here's more about Daylight Saving:

“Today, in fact right this second, the clocks are going back an hour. For most of us, this is a fantastic day as it means we get an extra hour to stay wrapped under the duvet, safe in our beds. But for one of the main characters in Edward Hogan’s debut young adult novel, Daylight Saving, this time of year brings nothing but fear… it’s a thriller ghost story by a new voice in YA fiction that will have you utterly gripped. We can also tell you that this very night, when the clocks go back, is one that fills the characters with dread.”

The cover is pretty snazzy--the design is simple and striking, and the interactive portion is cool and subtle without being overbearing or too gimmicky.  

Now, yes, this isn't some great leap forward, but it is effective. First, because people are talking about it, and second, because it's another example of the how we can push the bounds of digital publishing to give the reader a more interactive, immersive experience.

I love traditional books. The feel, the covers, even the smell of them. But I'm not one of those knee-jerk Luddites who believes eBooks herald the end of civilized literature. In fact, I believe they can enhance it, even if it's just through some pretty little water ripples.

Amazon lists the book as available on Feb. 2, 2012. 

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derekberry's picture
derekberry from South Carolina is reading Eating Animals November 9, 2011 - 7:09pm

That cover is really cool. I imagine children's books of the future will intergrate a game-like quality, so kids can read along and interact on IPads and other schmancy devices. But if they do the same thing with certain adult books, I'd be down with that. Imagine, fight club with mini-games that include "3 minutes in the ring with Bob" and "Blow up the bank" except with bombs instead of angry birds.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine November 9, 2011 - 9:18pm

I'm waiting for 3-D books.

Bradley Sands's picture
Bradley Sands from Boston is reading Greil Marcus's The History of Rock 'N' Roll in Ten Songs November 9, 2011 - 9:21pm

The cover for Lydia Davis' Varieties of Disturbance is sort of interactive. It has some sort of drawing of a very lifelike-looking fly on it and that's all you can see on it from slightly far away. And  unless you're really close up, you can't see the book's title and her name.

I have "killed" that fly a whole bunch of times thinking it was a real fly. I assume many other people have done the same.