frebook is an experiment in enhanced books. The term "enhanced book" refers to text which is supplemented with words, pictures, music, video, social networks and possibly, advertising. We believe it is the future of books and more than a year ago built frebook as a very basic demonstration project to show to publishers. The concept of "enhanced books" has now become generally known and widely accepted, though when we first designed this demonstration there were no other similar sites.
While the concept of the enhanced book has become mostly accepted, the notion of inserting advertising into the text is still widely rejected in theory. Then again, the concept of enhanced books was first rejected too. We expect advertising links to appear in enhanced books within a year. For example, if a character puts on a shirt, there could be an ad for a clothing company in the sidebar. A character could drink a soda and it could link to the website of a soda brand.
We think that frebook could be applied to a wide variety of possible formats. Students could learn from digital textbooks with further details and explanations of topics in the sidebar. Fiction writers could create books with backstory and more information about characters and settings just a click away. Non-fiction books could be updated with up-to-date and current information on a subject without needing to have new editions of the book. frebook could be extended to enhance newspapers, magazines, comic books, dictionaries, etc.
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