We’ve all heard of audio books, eBooks and more recently ‘classic’ old school paper ones. But the latest innovation to hit the written word is SMS books! That’s right, Reliance Communications plans to dole out SMS novels in India. Perhaps this move is in light of the dearth of data-enabled cell phones in the country, and the small fraction actually connected to data services. The novel Deaf Heaven will be sent to subscribers through a total of 90 SMSs over a period of thirty days. The pricing is affordable; subscribers will be charged Rs. 30 for the full book, which works out to an affordable Re. 1 per day. The only trouble is that while reading an actual book we tend to keep it aside when we want, not when there are no more pages continuing the story. So in this SMS delivery mechanism there should be a way for subscribers to ask for the next set of messages, since most people wouldn’t want to wait until the next day to continue the story.
Reliance also plans to make the book available as an adult audio book. The audio book would be available on a multimodal number where subscribers would be charged Re. 1 per minute. The audio book will have a duration of 60 minutes with a subscription fee of Rs. 30. This is apparently a first for publisher HarperCollins – looking at expanding reach and finding innovative ways of creating synergy through related media. It hopes there will be many more such releases for the Indian market. The book itself is a story “of optimism over a life-changing weekend, culminating on the day of a total solar eclipse” and is by the award winning author Pinki Virani.