Enhanced eBooks: The Hybrid Book Project


L. McMaken
Cincinnati, OH


Think print books can’t be digitally enhanced? Yes, they can and Melville House, an independent publisher has found a unique way to do just that. They are adding “enhanced content to print books.” Included with the purchase of a print book will be a scannable code or QR that readers can scan with their smartphones giving them exciting extras, for free.

Their press release explains, “Each book in the HybridBook program features not only the core text of the novel, but  extensive additional material rendered in digital form—the Melville House Illuminations. The Illuminations consist of highly curated text, maps, photographs and illustrations related to the original book. The Melville House Illuminations are free with the purchase of any title in the HybridBook series, no matter the format.”

The books featured on their website currently are classic literature from authors like Anton Chekov and Joseph Conrad. Other titles will be soon be forthcoming.

While enhanced or hybrid books have been around for a couple of years, this seems to be the first to give readers free content via their smartphone.