Sourcebooks announced this morning that it is partnering with Discovery Communications media company to create and publish a fully enhanced and interactive nonfiction e-book series accessible on all e-ink devices and e-reading apps. The e-books will also work on desktop applications associated with the channels the books are being sold through: Amazon's Kindle Desktop App, Adobe Digital Editions, and Google Play.
The new e-book series will feature the most popular topics explored in the Discovery Channel’s educational documentary television series, HowStuffWorks, and its associated Web site, which, according to Alexa.com, the web information company that tracks traffic, is ranked 864th globally in visitors.
HowStuffWorks uses various media – photographs, diagrams, videos, animation, and text -- to provide information on just about everything, including popular culture, health, money, travel, and history, as well as to explain complex concepts pertaining to science and technology. HowStuffWorks maintains more than 14 different podcasts and 10 blog channels on its Web site; select articles, quizzes, videos, and podcasts are also available as stand-alone Apple apps.
Soucebooks will release three HowStuffWorks e-books on June 4, including Stuff You Missed in History Class>, a collection of historical trivia that, with more than 10 million downloads, was one of the Apple Store’s top 20 podcasts; The Real Science of Sex Appeal, another one of HowStuffWorks’ most popular podcasts, which will include “Stuff Mom Never Told You;” and 50 Amazing Facts from Josh and Chuck, featuring fan favorites from the “Stuff You Should Know” podcast hosted by Discovery Communications senior writers Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant.
Two HowStuffWorks e-books will be released on July 9, including Future Tech, Right Now; and Lightsabers, Batmobiles, and Kryptonite: The Science of Being Super, which will include information on the technology and science behind gadgets used by super-heroes and their villains.
The e-books are all priced at $4.99 each.
HowStuffWorks e-books will feature interactive quizzes, four-color photographs, and audio and video clips from HowStuffWorks podcasts, as well as sidebars, diagrams, and interactive timelines providing related factoids and anecdotes. The e-books will also include “Top 5” and “Top 10” lists pertaining to that e-book’s theme, such as “5 of History’s Biggest Lies” and “10 Star Trek Technologies That Came True.”
“We’re excited to bring HowStuffWorks to new audiences with our e-book offerings,” Conal Byrne, Discovery/HowStuffWorks general manager, said in a prepared statement, “Great content is only as powerful as the platforms you make it available on. The HowStuffWorks series with Sourcebooks is a strong addition to the portfolio.”
"What interested me was the wealth of information on both everyday and not-so-everyday stuff that we could make into highly browsable e-books with lots of different content types -- quizzes, audio, etc -- available across all e-book platforms," added Sourcebooks publisher Dominique Raccah in an e-mail to PW.
HowStuffWorks was launched as a website in 1998 and acquired by Discovery Communications in 2007. The Discovery Channel’s HowStuffWorks television series launched in 2008. There are four HowStuffWorks books published in print format and edited by HowStuffWorks founder, Marshall Brain: HowStuffWorks; More HowStuffWorks; How Much Does the Earth Weigh; and What If?