A comely young woman sits poolside, comfortably reading her new Kindle in the sun. To her right, some schlemiel in a t-shirt struggles with the awful glare on his iPad. She tells him her Kindle cost less than her sunglasses. Outclassed and inept, he flops his iPad limply. Foiled. Rats.
That’s not how I spent my weekend. It’s Amazon’s new television commercial for the latest Kindle model. The ad has come in for a little teasing, but to me it’s the format, more than the content, that calls for a taking of stock. Where are we? How did we get here? Let’s look back. Let’s reduce.
In the beginning there were books. Then television killed them. Then the internet killed television AND newspapers. Then the iPad killed everything. Or saved everything. And now the Kindle fights back! In the name of books. Or e-books. On television. An e-reader using television, which killed books, to show how much better it is for e-books than a tablet computer. But mostly just in the sun.
But the media creep isn’t just for battles. By now you should be familiar with book trailers, which borrow from the movies to advertise books on the internet. Most of the book trailers out there yet are for novels, but just last week we shared a trailer made by the Harvard AIDS Initiative for Saturday Is for Funerals, a book we proudly published last spring.
Today, though, we’re happy to share what’s surely a first for Harvard University Press. We’re not even sure what to call it. It’s not fan fiction, because it’s not fiction and Vic of Jane Austen’s World is so much more than a fan. Take a look:
That's our Annotated Edition of Pride and Prejudice! So, what to call this? Third party plug? Outsider ad? We’ll think on it. For now, though, just call us chuffed.