April 10, 2014

PRESS RELEASE: Melville House to begin pairing audio with ebooks


Books are broken. Sure, maybe they were fine at one point, back when everything was boring and people smelled like horse farts or whatever, say before 1994, but now that we’re in an exciting loud future we don’t have time for that kind of nonsense. Books need to get in synch with the way we live now. That’s right, books need to make ambient noises at you. No no, not play songs; those are expensive. Just, like, crashing waves or whatever. Explosion noises. Explosion noises are the future of books.

Fortunately one company, Booktrack, is already on it. We first mentioned Booktrack when they launched two years ago, and they’ve been hard at work pairing sitar music with Salman Rushdie stories since then. Now Booktrack have announced that they’ve just brought in another $3 million in venture capital and they’re expanding to explore educational uses of the idea. Techcrunch’s Anthony Ha spoke with Booktrack’s CEO and cofounder Paul Cameron, who points to two studies that time spent reading and comprehension can rise when readers listen to appropriate audio while reading.

We’re convinced. Melville House has a history of swift adoption of promising book and reading technologies, and we want to be right there at the forefront of this new idea as well. However, Melville House is also an indie publisher, and that often means a DIY aesthetic. To that end, we’ll be adding audio to our books ourselves, outside of the Booktrack system. We’ve just begun the process but the results are, as I think you’ll agree, pretty exciting. Below are our early samples of our book soundtracks tailored specifically to six Melville House titles. Take a listen!

Compelling stuff! Look for these and other audio tracks to play automatically and incessantly with each of our ebooks in the near future.

With thanks to some of our intrepid team of whale imitators, Sadie Mason-Smith, Andrew McGrath and Martin Rouse.

Dustin Kurtz is former marketing manager of Melville House.