Finally, I can share my great news! I was contacted in January by CreateSpace, publisher of the paperback versions of my three novels, to see if I’d participate in a new formatting option they are offering. They sweetened the offer by increasing the royalties I would receive per book released with the formatting. How could I refuse an offer like that? Plus, I’ve always had a sense of adventure.
Well, today I am thrilled to say that I am one of twenty-five authors whose books in this new format are available today!
A whole new approach to reading
The purpose of this new approach is to enhance the reading experience, much as 3D technology is used in modern films. Paperback books are formatted using what is called a thermolfac-pdf, developed by former Kodak engineer Dr. K. Ellen Klyne. She came up with the concept after years of research with thermo-reactive inks for kiosks that allow customers to print their own photos.
How the thermolfac-pdf works
When I re-formatted my books for this product launch, Dr. Klyne instructed me to add htsml macros from a list she provided that would provide cues to the thermo-reactive inks used by CreateSpace. The cues are launched when the heat of the reader’s fingers pauses over the words. (Just as URLs appear with that underline to show you that they’re hyperlinks, the htsml coding creates a faint shadow behind the cue word.) The heat from a fingertip on the word triggers the interaction of ester compounds, coded by the macro, to blend into the author’s selection of the perfect scent for the story’s scene. She also created a similar process that infuses one general scent into the coating of the book’s cover.
“I’m a big John Waters fan,” Dr. Klyne said, “and I have to admit that the thermolfac-pdf concept was inspired by the Odorama cards he gave filmgoers who saw Polyester in the movie theater in 1982. What I’ve done essentially is take the Odorama scratch-and-sniff concept and evolve it into a Digital Age technology.” Klyne added that she considers Waters “as the Jules Verne of his generation.”
Response to critics
Some close to this project have protested to Dr. Klyne that with the resurgence in asthma among the youth of this nation, couldn’t this new technology deter asthmatic youth from the pleasure of reading. “This is a non-problem,” she counters. “First of all, thermolfac books would be available only from online retailers. If there is a person with asthma within the household, that person can slip on the provided ester release barrier book cover. Remember, the technology is triggered by placing a fingertip on the shadowed cue word. If the reader holds the book page at its corner, there is no release of scents.”
My books get the thermolfac treatment
Dr. Klyne and I Skyped throughout February to determine what scents would match my novels best. Here are the results:
For 3/17, I selected a scent familiar from my college days: Genesee beer stuck on a hardwood floor. The interior has corned beef and cabbage cues throughout.
For my first novel, The Cyber Miracles, there is an ever-present scent of Andy Krall’s coffee blend: “a little Arabica, a little Jamaican Blue.”
Of course for the book’s sequel, A Sudden Gift of Fate, I opted for a semi-dry Finger Lakes Riesling scent for the cover. Inside you’ll find Maeve’s brioche and brown bread fresh from the oven or wafts from the famous carrot soup at Loughmare Winery’s cafe.
Dr. Klyne confirmed that a similar technology is being created for the Kindle. It will include a device that can be plugged into an e-reader port.
I can’t tell you how honored I am to be part of CreateSpace’s new feature! It’s one of the perks of being an Indie author—always ahead of the publishing crowd. If you buy one of my books with the thermolfac feature, I’d love to hear from you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org