Hachette, Booktrack Partner to Stave Off the Inevitable Technological Obscurity of Soundtracked eBooks

3177647296_965a3b0584_bHere’s an interesting bit of obscure ebook tech you might want to try before it disappears into the scrapheap of history.

PW reports:

Hachette’s Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is partnering with Booktrack, a technology platform offering customizable soundtracks and sound effects for e-books, to supply movie-like soundtracks for its popular e-books for teens.

The soundtrack enhanced e-books from Novl, LBBYR’s digital-original imprint, will become available today though a branded Little, Brown Booktrack page. The titles will include works by such bestselling LBYR authors as Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Rebecca Serle, Libba Bray, Jennifer E. Smith, and Laini Taylor.

New original Booktrack-enabled LBYR titles, including works by Jennifer Rush, Virginia Boecker, and Emily Lloyd-Jones. among others, will be released on a monthly basis throughout the summer. With the San Diego Comic-Con opening this week, Booktrack has a Comic-Con promotion, offering three free music-enhanced e-books to users who sign on to the service by the end of July.

Booktrack’s tech has been around for over five years now, and it has yet to be widely adopted or copiedIt’s still rather obscure, and only works in Booktrack’s own apps. You can’t even find this tech in the platforms which support Epub3, where support would be simple.

This is the next also-ran of failed ebook tech, and yet for some reason Hachette is really excited about it.

“Booktrack is doing exciting things in the digital space,” said Tina McIntyre, Senior Executive Director, Content Development, at Hachette Book Group. “We are eager to have these newly imagined digital versions of original titles available. We expect they will add an extra layer of reading enjoyment for current fans, while bringing a whole new audience to the titles to experience the joy of reading and listening together!”

The heyday of enhanced ebooks was in 2010 to 2012, when everyone thought they might be the next big thing. That hope died four years ago, after consumers that they didn’t like the idea nearly as much as the technologists.

“Hachette Book Group has always been a leader in the publishing industry and is once again ahead of the curve by leveraging Booktrack’s technology, harnessing its unlimited creative potential for authors to deliver an immersive new experience to their readers,” said Paul Cameron, CEO and cofounder of Booktrack.

The curve that Hachette is ahead of is actually a downward sloping curve.

If you haven’t tried Booktrack, you should. Because mark my words, in two year’s time we’ll be writing about Booktrack shutting down and or pivoting to serve another niche or market.


image by abooth202

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. carmen webster buxton21 July, 2016

    I am starting to think the Big 5 couldn’t innovate if their lives depended on it. Who freakin’ wants a sound track when they read? It’s more useless than piano music at a silent movie!

  2. Kaz Augustin23 July, 2016

    Yeah, what Carmen said. If I wanted a soundtrack to my music, my trusty Walkman is just a reach away. Who knows I’d even like what the creator considers appropriate accompanying music. (I’m heavily into ambient electronic music when reading, e.g.)

    Sounds like another huge miss for Hachette. My only regret is that I didn’t come up with something equally useless to sell to them and make $$$ off them for a few years. Would have been nice.

    “Hachette Book Group has always been a leader in the publishing industry and is once again ahead of the curve…” Bwahahahahahahahahaha *gasp* bwahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


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