Bush Rides the e-Book Wave
Former President George W. Bush today broke new ground in the world of publishing when he became the first U.S. president to be interviewed at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., to promote his autobiography “Decision Points.”
The interview was viewed by more than 6,000 Facebook users on Facebook Live, the site’s live video streaming page, and will remain accessible to Facebook’s half a billion users.
In the spirit of Facebook communication, Bush fielded real-time questions submitted by users, but never let the audience forget he was there to sell books.
Available in traditional hardcover, “Decision Points” is also available in what Crown Publishing Group calls a deluxe e-book version with more than 200 photographs, videos, letters, and speeches, one of the first multimedia books on the market.
When asked what gadgets he used as president, he said, "None when I was president. I’m the first president whose administration used email. Over 170 million emails were stored. None were mine."
"After I left office, I became a BlackBerry person, now I’m an iPad person," he said. "And I use the Facebook to stay in touch with people who are interested." Bush says he's retired his iPod in favor of natural birdsongs while he rides his bike.
He urged viewers to buy both a hard copy and a digital copy of "Decision Points."
Video, voice and photos add material to the text that offers far more information than the few glossy pages of photos included in the center of similar hardcover books. And rather than costing more, the digital version of “Decision Point” is about half the price of the hardcover, typical of most New York Times bestsellers.
Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday buying surge, “Decision Points” sold 1.1 million copies including 135,000 digital copies, reported Crown. That’s about 12 percent of sales, outpacing today’s industry average.
Crown has offered the Bush autobiography in several formats: as an Amazon Kindle book, an iPad app and in ePub format for e-readers such as aBarnes & Noble’s Nook as well as any Internet-connected device running an e-reader app. But if you want the full multimedia experience, you’ll have to use an iPad or a device that supports video, since most dedicated e-reader devices today can’t.
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