August 4, 2011

Announcing The HybridBook




Brooklyn, NY; August 4, 2011 — Melville House has announced the official launch of its long-rumored HybridBook project, an innovative publishing program that gives print books the features of enhanced eBooks.

“We’ve been telling the prognosticators of doom and gloom that print and digital are going to co-exist,” explains publisher Dennis Johnson, “and with the HybridBook program we’ve put our money where our mouth is.”

Intended to help brick-and-morter booksellers sell copies of print books, the program offers extensive ancillary digital materials, such as essays, maps, illustrations, and other primary source material that will be available to purchasers of print books through a QR (Quick Response) code printed inside the book. Smart phone owners simply scan the QR code to receive a download of the material. Alternately, the downloads can be accessed via the internet or email.

The additional materials, which can be downloaded at no additional charge, are called the Melville House Illuminations, and in most instances will be longer than the book itself.

The HybridBook project launches with the company’s release of five novellas, each titled The Duel, by five different writers—Anton Chekhov, Joseph Conrad, Giacomo Casanova, Heinrich von Kleist, and Alexander Kuprin—on August 16.

“It’s a treasure trove for readers and a selling point for booksellers,” says Johnson. “For example, The Illumination for the HybridBook version of Anton Chekhov’s The Duel contains an essay on dueling by Thomas Paine, poems by Lord Byron, philosophy by Nietzsche, an anti-dueling church sermon, an argument in favor of dueling by a U.S. Senator, and the rules to the game of vint—a game that plays a role in the plot,” says Johnson. “In the Illumination for Giacomo Casanova’s The Duel you’ll find a comic essay by Mark Twain on French dueling and an account of a famous duel fought from hot air balloons. And there’s so much more—maps, cartoons, recipes, photographs, paintings—to enhance the reader’s experience.”

The HybridBooks provide booksellers with an added-value bargain for their customers, and provide readers of print books with the advantages of enhanced eBooks.

For more information about the HybridBook project, go here.

HybridBooks and Melville House Illuminations are available upon request.