Doing an eReading Inventory

Reading is an experience. It involves all your senses. Where you read, when you read, why you read is all part of the context that makes reading meaningful. So the idea of reading books digitally, isn’t simply a cost issue. It requires each of us to rethink how, when, where and why we read in light of this new medium.

As we rethink these various factors, you have to ask ourselves a few questions:

  • What are you losing by reading digitally and, conversely, what are you gaining?
  • How will it affect your reading patterns? Will it cause you to read more or will it decrease the amount you tend to read?
  • Will eReading change what you read? Will you read more fiction or will you tend to focus our eReading on work/study/etc?
  • Will eReading change where you read? Will you read more because the books are more portable?
  • Will eBooks help you make better use of resource materials such as cook books, how-to books, Bible commentaries and studies, etc?
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The Arrogance of Worry – Reading Chapter 2 of the Enhanced Edition of Crazy Love

We give many reasons for not making God a priority in our lives. But most of them seem like things we can’t control. We are almost fatalistic about our self-absorption. But in reality, we are able to choose whether to focus on Christ or on ourselves. And our self-focus leads to worry and stress as we try to manage our lives and live them out under our control.

This really hit home to me when I was reading chapter 2 of Crazy Love. On pg. 42, Francis says “Both worry and stress reek of arrogance.” I had never thought of it that way. I had always seen worry and stress as signs of weakness and lack of trust, but to think that I am arrogantly holding on to my agenda and pushing God out of the way. Wow. What an indictment on my sin nature and my unwillingness to trust every day to Christ.

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A Creative God Blows My Mind – Reading Chapter 1 of the Enhanced Crazy Love Edition

By Jon Hirst

I have heard about the magnitude of God many times. But most of the time the words become collections of letters that don’t really sink into my mind or change my heart’s perspective. So as I read Chapter 1 of the Enhanced Edition of Crazy Love, I almost lost the incredible meaning in the words that were so familiar to me.
But at the moment when I almost discounted what Francis was saying, he challenged me to watch the video of the galaxies. I clicked on the link on my iPad and I was there . . . captured. Stopping to follow that first link jolted me from my “reading mode” and forced me to think about what he was saying in a deeper way.

As I interacted with the video, I was truly amazing to see how God used it in my thinking. I hadn’t ever really stopped to think about the size of our universe and to then imagine what that means about our God. But as I did it helped me to stay focused and get ready to jump into the descriptions of God that Francis provided.

Reading Crazy Love in a Whole New Way

By Jon Hirst

Our team at Novo Ink is very excited to share some news with the Conversant Life community. This morning we launched the enhanced eBook version of Crazy Love by Francis Chan. This is a collaborative project with Francis’ publisher David C. Cook.

To find out more about the book click here.

We are very excited about this enhanced eBook because it takes a unique approach to this new medium. As you know we have been blogging about how eBooks can be tools of incarnational ministry among us. That lens is how we look at projects like this.

So when we sat down with David C. Cook and brainstormed this project, our goal was to create an intentional and incarnational resource that allows you to jump into the idea along with Francis Chan and learn new things as you hear from him and interact with the many other resources. And we are so excited with how the team at Cook brought the project together!

The tendency out there is to create a book with “extras” but that is simply more information overload. Instead we believe an enhanced eBook needs to be an organic experience where audio, video, and support web resources make the reading experience richer and more meaningful.

Our hope is that as you read this enhanced book, you will connect with the author and his passion, but more importantly, that you will get new insights into how you can grow in your love for Jesus.

In order to model that, I will be reading the enhanced book, one chapter a week, and blogging on conversant life about the total experience and what I am learning. I challenge you to join me in that journey and read along. I would love to hear your comments as we read it together.

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Some Cool Features Coming to eBooks That Will Change the Reading Experience

We have been introduced to eBooks over the past several years thanks to Amazon.  And in the past 6 months, it seems like eBooks are talked about everywhere.  The momentum in the past six months has really increased around eBooks.  Until recently, eBooks have always been in the form of text on screen, which is simple, and a lot like reading from a print book.  In the past year, we have started to see a lot of readers being introduced to the market, some of them with cool features like color, sharing, multi-platform capability, etc.  These added features have helped to enhance the experience of reading digitally.

In the past few months, the enhanced, or interactive, eBook has gained tremendous interest and momentum.  The new enhanced eBook is one that incorporates video, audio, animations, interactivity, resource links, etc. right into the digital book.  It is kind of like what we have experienced on good websites the past several years…only now it is in your book.  Publishers are starting to see that an enhanced eBook can really add to the reading experience if done right.  At present, most of the enhanced eBooks coming to market have a video or two embedded in them, and maybe some outside links.  Often these are added to an existing product as an add-on to make the book “enhanced.”  In other instances, some existing products, originally written with the future in mind, are being turned into enhanced eBooks where the video, audio and resource links are a natural extension of the actual book.  That is where the enhanced eBook reading experience really shines, and we will all start to see more of these types of enhanced eBooks coming to market. 

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Just because you can doesn't mean you should

What makes a new innovation worth pursuing as we strive to create resources that will help others grow in their faith? For many years we have assumed that if a new technology comes along we should use it to reach out and share the Gospel with others.

In most cases we have used very little discretion as we apply various technologies to the communication of God's vision for the world. Sure, there were always the laggards in the adoption cycle that said that this technology or that was "of the Devil." But for the most part those concerns were reactionary rather than well thought out.

That lack of discretion has caused our message to be impacted by the technology that we use. Think about how television preaching has impacted our standing with nonbelievers and our approach to that time of teaching?

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A Move towards Incarnation - bringing the author and their content back together

We were made to have personal connections. If you think about how God created the world and designed man and woman, the reality of this is inescapable. Our God is relational and desires to be known, to know us and for us to know each other.

Nothing shows that more dramatically than the incarnation of God’s Son Jesus. In that moment God connected with His creation in a way that no one could have imagined or planned for. The Israelites had seen pillars of fire, the Spirit’s entry into the Temple and countless prophets representing God. But to see God in person impacted us as a human race and His death changed our eternal destiny.

This reality of personal experience guided much of human history. But as Modernity took hold over the past two centuries, the value of personal connection was reduced. Instead, the driving value was progress and the pathway of progress was logic and reason. In the push for new technology and discovery, we focused on facts at the expense of story.

The sidelining of narrative meant that relationships and personal connection were also sidelined – quite unintentionally. You might counter that personal relationships have always been core to culture, but during Modernity these were siloed to people’s “personal time” and kept away from the movements of industry and discovery.

The Publishing Industry as an Example 
One example of this is the book. The ideas in books started out as stories told by people in village squares, around camp fires and in homes. And as technology was introduced those stories took the form of a product that could be mass produced and distributed widely. Over time, this new container changed the content. Much of the content produced in today’s modern publishing industry is focused on delivery of a storyline, facts, ideas or opinions without much connection to the author. Today you can read an author’s entire fiction series and know very little about her. Or you can read every book a thought leader shares and not even know what kind of food they like. In fact, over the years we have been taught that knowing the back story isn’t that important. We have been pushed to isolate the ideas from the person and judge ideas only on their merit rather than in the context of who is saying them.

But that was then . . .
As Modernity has ended with the dramatic reaction of Post-Modernity, there has been a significant renewal of interest in incarnational principles. Western cultures are pushing away from the mass-produced solutions that have been our staples and are seeking out the back story that holds with it the promise of a relationship.
Because of this we have seen the rise in social media tools allowing us to connect and share our lives. We have also seen thought leaders begin to pay close attention to their brand and the authenticity they portray with their fans and followers. All this is changing publishing in some very dramatic ways.

Where it used to be that a publisher could present content and readers would purchase it based mostly on whether the ideas were worth interacting with, now readers want relationship with the authors they read. No, they don’t so much want to hang out with them daily or have them over for dinner. What we want is to know the author presenting the ideas, their past, their interests, their passions and their motives for writing. The reader wants the whole picture.

In this time of transition this change has manifested itself in author’s developing social media, YouTube channels, Web pages and fan clubs. The challenge with all of this is that it is very disorganized and difficult to find. As authors have tried to give their readers a context for the ideas they are presenting, they have created a hogpog of resources and connection points.

What is the answer to this? Well, I work at Novo Ink, a Christian eBook distributor and publisher, and we believe that the enhanced eBook will be one of the key products that begins to bring this all together. Imagine if an eBook can have audio, video, surveys, social interaction and links to important resources. What will that do to the book? I believe it will bring the story and the storyteller back together and provide the reader with a rich experience that allows them to know the author and their ideas in new ways.

Why is this important? Well, as we begin to think of technology within the context of relationships rather than the context of progress, we will begin to use technology to enhance relationships and create new opportunities to connect. The enhanced eBook will allow an author to come alive in their writing and challenge readers to join him/her in their cause or topic.

I believe that this will change books forever. We will see authors begin to engage in ways that they have not bothered to up till now. And more importantly, we will see Christian authors begin to define their efforts by the principles of incarnation that Jesus modeled.

In the coming weeks and months, I will be blogging about being an incarnational thought leader and how enhanced eBooks can be a tool as we strive to build community and engage those around us. I hope you will join me in this discussion.

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How "The Daily" will affect eBook reading, is the print book dead?

The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's new iPad newspaper, was launched today, offering iPad users a way to get their news from a completely digital newspaper…minus the paper.  It is offering stunning graphics, video, animations, up-to-the-minute news, celebrity news, and more.  Mr. Murdoch believes that the iPad is a game changer with regard to how people consume their information.  He feels that we are entering a new day of content delivery as more and more tablet computers come to market.  The iPad is hot today, but tablet PC’s aren’t limited to the iPad, there are many Windows 7 based tablet PC’s either on the market now or coming very soon.  Some of these newer devices will have lower prices as well. 

So how will the Daily affect eBook reading?  eBooks are still relatively new; people are still getting warmed up to the idea of reading digitally, and using a device of some sort to do that reading.  It is interesting to note that, every day, people all over the world are consuming content digitally from their computers, iPads, other tablet computers, and smart phones.  Reading a book digitally really isn’t a stretch because all of us are reading a great amount of content in digital form right now.  As digital publications like The Daily come to market, more and more people are being introduced to consuming their content digitally using a digital reading device of some sort.  The convenience of digital becomes apparent, and people are more likely to embrace other forms of digital content, like eBooks.   

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Interactive Christian eBooks from NOVO Ink

Welcome to NOVO ink! Why NOVO Ink? The story behind our name is simple. NOVO Ink means "new link." We are living through a revolution in publishing. For centuries books were created by using ink on paper.

Today, however, readers like you are rapdily moving from the traditional world of ink and paper into an era of instant publication delivery through the Internet and reading eBooks, eMagazines, and other epublications of all kins on a variety of eBook readers and devices, none of which use ink or paper. Thus our name. Digital is the new ink of our time, and eBooks are the way to read.

Our goal at NOVO Ink is to bring you a remarkable selection of life-enhancing eBooks and eZines. We hope you'll enjoy a wide variety of choices that will help grow your faith and strengthen your values, as well as enrich everyday life and business.

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Our goal at NOVO Ink is to bring you a remarkable selection of life-enhancing eBooks and eZines that will help you grow your faith and enrich everyday life and business.

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