Friday, November 27, 2015

Thoughts On Book Extras: Others' vs. MINE

     So, I just finished reading Wolf By Wolf, an alternate history, slightly sci-fi action-adventure YA novel by Ryan Gaudin.  It's a pretty decent book.  But I got it from the Uppercase Box subscription service, and their big hook is that they put post-it notes in throughout the book (five, in this case) to provide the reader with "extra" that supposedly aren't available elsewhere.  That seemed  like a great idea to me, and I was eager to try them out.
     The first one gave me a video of the author doing what good authors do at book readings, explaining the inspiration and research for the book.  It was pretty interesting, but it was hardly exclusive.  The second bit was more information on the type of motorcycle used in the book.  Again, pretty interesting, but it was nothing I couldn't have googled myself.  The third item was a video -- available on vimeo and youtube -- of Ewan MacGregor taking a 115-day motorcycle trip.  Now, I love listening to Ewan's normal accent (he's a Scot!), but the video was like watching someone's unedited road trip family vacation.  zzzzzz  The 4th "extra" was simply a question inviting people to comment about what they thought when they "learned" what the title meant -- on page 267.  Well, since my opinion was that the several meanings of the title had been obvious just from reading the book blurbs and the first few pages, I felt this was a pretty stupid "extra."  The fifth and final one was equally disappointing, as it was just another comment area with "What did you think of the end?"  Well, it's obvious that the author hopes to publish a sequel, so that was hardly a "special" extra.

     I'm going to brag here and state that the "extras" in The (Dis)Appearance of Nerissa MacKay are far  more numerous and really much better than at least 3/5 of what I got with Wolf By Wolf.  And the best part is that a reader need not join any special club or use a code to access them; they're right in the book.
     The most obvious extras are at the first of each chapter.  There are themed playlists and funky wardrobe and hairstyle ideas for every single chapter.  And Nerissa's playlists are so eclectic that anyone should be able to get some new ideas for listening by checking out the songs.
     Then there are footnotes here and there to clarify and explain a few things the reader might need to know.  For example, one footnote is a link to a video of the folksong Nerissa is learning in her German III class.
     And at the end of the book are recipes and homework tips.  Plus, there is info about the author (me!) and my other books, with links/URLS to trailers, twitter, etc.
     If you want extras, people, you don't have to look very far with this book:

Want a copy?  You can buy one here.
You can also check my Current Contests page to see if there's one available to win.  (As I type this, that is indeed the case.)

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