The proliferation of new forms of media and innovations in technology have sent publishers scrambling for ways to continue reaching readers. Cine-books, a new start-up, has developed a way to combine three of the most popular methods of delivering stories into one hybrid form called the cine-book. It enables readers to read, listen to, or even watch a book within a single mobile app for iOS, Android, Amazon, browser, or share a book with others on a TV or other big screens via AirPlay and Chromecast.

The Cine-books software converts books into a digital format that features photos and 3-D graphics on each page of text, and also allows readers to switch to audio or video mode at any point. Unlike enhanced e-books, which are packaged with additional content such as author interviews or videos, the audio and visual elements produced by Cine-books are meant to immerse the reader in the story.

For example, in the cine-book version of O. Henry's famous short story "The Gift of the Magi," the reader can watch Della's hair fall before the mirror and glisten in her hands. Five cine-books are currently available in the company's online store and seven are in post-production, including public domain works by Shakespeare and Kafka. Unlike movies, cine-books are based on the original text of the book without adaptation.

Cine-books was founded by CEO Oleg Fonarov, an experienced entrepreneur and founder of the software development company Program-Ace. Based in the Ukraine, the Cine-books Virtual 3-D Studio is staffed by graphic artists, photographers, directors, and actors. Cine-books made its first public appearance last fall at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the company was encouraged to see that many of the trends in publishing point to the value of their products and services, such as the growth in audiobooks and interest in augmented reality, video, mobile content, and digital subscriptions. The company sees its platform going beyond e-books to attract visually oriented video game and TV audiences.

In April, Cine-books will launch a publishing platform to unite self-published authors, literary rights holders, readers, photo and film production studios, and media content investors in a B2B marketplace. The start-up is positioning the enhanced production available for short titles as a new opportunity for authors and publishers to build their visually oriented audiences by producing short spin-off stories for books before or after they are released. "Shorter projects offer a comparatively low production cost and higher production time than full-length books," said Nataliya Vynogradska, publishing director of Cine-books, and could be used to "show the characters and the dynamism of the plot and create intrigue. It's a great opportunity for an IP owner to earn more by selling an added-value product along with the main title." The cine-book hybrid is also designed to increase authors' opportunities for large-scale adaptations, as the publishing platform will allow film and television producers to gauge potential audiences. "Publishing a story in the cine-book format means acquiring a lot of valuable PR and taking the first step towards a big-screen movie adaptation or a TV serial," said Vynogradska.

Since it can take up to 18 months to produce a novel-length cine-book, with production costs prohibitive to all but the biggest-selling authors, the Cine-books platform is designed to offer various funding models. The company will invest in several projects from award-winning, bestselling authors, with others to be produced in cooperation with publishers and investors. The company encourages self-published authors to engage book fans and online audiences, who can vote for their works on the platform's built-in polling site; audiences will also be able to donate toward production costs of cine-book projects.

Ultimately, Cine-books hopes to arrange deals with large, established publishers and major digital content distributors. Cine-books representatives will attend next month's New York Rights Fair, where they will launch their publishing platform, demonstrate its potential to rights holders, and meet authors and prospective partners.

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