Thursday, 30 June 2011

Publishing Today: Flipbacks, The Future of Publishing?

Today see’s the launch and publication of Hodder’s new “revolutionary” books design. In actually fact it’s nothing new, but revolutionary? More than likely!

Hodder’s BIG Idea
For a very long time books have been available in two main formats, paperback and hardback. More recently eBooks, kindle, audio books and a plethora of multimedia formats have been created but none have yet to supplant the original. This new design is far closer to the paperback we all know and love but supposedly allows us to read in a more fluent way!

This new ‘Flipback’ design flips to the classic book 90® so that it opens more like a landscape flip chart or sketch book. This allows for much more text on each double page and apparently creates a “much improved reading experience” despite being the size of a cassette tape! (For those who can’t remember or never used cassette tapes, that’s rather small!)

If you've ever whined about how the Kindle, compact though it may be, doesn't have the look or feel of a nice printed novel – put this in your pipe and read it: the newly invented "flipback" book. Released in Britain this summer, it is being touted as the, er, new Kindle: the tome that's smaller and lighter than an e-reader, but made out of pages, not bytes.
 It is all the rage in Holland, where it was introduced in 2009, and has since sold 1m copies. A version has just been launched in Spain, France is next, and the flipback reaches UK shores in June, when Hodder & Stoughton will treat us to a selection of 12 books. They cost £9.99, and will include David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and Stephen King's Misery.”
The Guardian

So, great titles, tiny format, portable, affordable, what’s the downside? Well, there is one, paper. The paper these books are printed on is like the super thin paper you see in bibles! While this isn’t a massive problem, it might become irksome in damp or highly windy conditions. That said, Amazon consider it a serious threat to the kindle dominance of the portability market for several reasons:
1)      A book doesn’t need charging or Internet connection.
2)      Combines the feeling of having a real book with the portability of an e-reader/kindle device.
3)      Very affordable compared to the average price of £120 for an e-reader/kindle device!

The above considered, I don’t think the flipback will replace the kindle or the standard formats, but certainly has a place in the market. Commuters will love this light weight, small surface area format as will libraries and holiday makers wanting to cut down their bag weights.

The following Flipback books are now available at

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