BTB #272: The HybridBook Arrives

Dennis JohnsonOnce upon a time, there were only two kinds of books: Good books, and all the others. In recent years, though, books have really started to branch out. Soon enough, it’s going to get pretty tough to say what is, “a book” – or what isn’t “a book.”

While printed books endure, many wonder whether there’s room enough in the world for “p-books” and e-books. Answering that question with yet another new book species – the so-called HybridBook – is Dennis Johnson, founder and publisher of Melville House Books, based in Brooklyn.

“A HybridBook is a print book that comes with a digital addendum,” Johnson tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “So if you buy the print book of one of our HybridBook titles, on the last page of that book, there is a QR code that you can scan, or a URL that you can go to, to get an accompanying e-book that we call the ‘illuminations’ to the print title.

“The other thing we wanted to do was to promote print books, and give booksellers a way to say, ‘We’ve got more than meets the eye here,’” Johnson added.

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