The idea for Gramarye Books was born the very first time we read a book on a tablet and thought … this should be way cooler. Sure, eBooks are convenient. You can buy them anytime. You can take them anywhere. But with a print book, designers can use all kinds of materials to make them beautiful, to make a book a work of art.
Why can’t we do that with an eBook?
Why shouldn’t eBooks be beautiful?
We believe that books are magic wardrobes into new worlds. We were the kids who stayed up way past our bedtimes, just lost in a story. We want to recreate that feeling. We want to make the Magician’s Book from Narnia, or a volume from the library at Hogwarts. In short, we want to make a magic book.
After all, stories matter.
The story — from ‘Rumplestiltskin’ to ‘War and Peace’ — is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind, for the purpose of gaining understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.
— Ursula K. Le Guin
A Gramarye Book is more than an eBook. It expands storytelling and enhances expression. It’s a technology platform for a new kind of publishing. Gramarye lets us learn from the reader and adapt the experience in real time. Gramarye Lets us create and connect communities around a story … or even a learning experience.
Our goal is to stretch the capabilities of a tablet or smart phone to create an entirely new kind of experience. Users always feels like they’re handling a book … it never feels like software. Our goal is to make the device disappear. There’s never any kind of distraction that pulls the user out of the story.
Of course, we produce audio and print versions, too, as well as standard eBooks. In fact, we hope to allow anyone who purchases a print volume to download the enhanced Gramarye version for free.
Making eBooks Beautiful
We’ve added all kinds of subtle interactive elements and surprises. Some you might not notice, at least not at first. Some are a little more … obvious. For example?
Gramarye Books have a music soundtrack … a low and subtle mood setter for each chapter. We can also add author commentary, like the director’s commentary option on a DVD.
Maybe you find a beautifully painted illustration … but when you tap it, it comes alive in a segment of Hollywood-quality video. There’s a map at the beginning of the book that lets you track the characters, so you always know exactly where they are at any point in the story. You can also use the map to access story-relevant games that make you feel like you are actually a part of the story. The games might even unlock little side stories or new content.
Mixing in the Magic
We’ve found all kinds of little surprises we can add, just to remind the reader that they’re not reading an ordinary book. For example? There’s a synopsis. If you start a book, then have to set it aside for a while, you can read a synopsis that’ll remind you of what’s happened in the story … but only up to the point where you’ve read! No spoilers with Gramarye. The same thing happens with the character glossary.
You can even switch to the audio version, and then switch back, and the book and the synopsis will keep up with them.
Parents can toggle a control to make a book written for adults more appropriate for younger readers … effectively making an R rated book PG or PG 13.
The book even measures a user’s reading speed at any given time, so we can time little special effects and surprises. For example, maybe the book is a jungle adventure, and our hero hears a lion roar off in the distance. We can play a low, subtle sound effect right as the reader’s eye touches that sentence. It’s a magic book.
Reading has always been a solitary experience. But it doesn’t have to be.
Gramarye integrates social media. Users can share their favorite passages on Twitter or Facebook … or share their game scores and prizes … or interact with other readers in their area, or all around the world. After all, stories bind us together. They build friendships.
A Complete Experience
This isn’t just a laundry list of features. Gramarye is an entire suite of enhancements that work together and integrate seamlessly to create an unforgettable experience unlike any other. We’re just scratching the surface.