The Beauty of Booktrack


Enhanced e-books have had a rough start. There is a lot of potential for mixing story and media, but very few companies have unlocked how best to pull this off. Booktrack is one of those rare companies. All it takes is reading one story with a Booktrack to see the potential. To see what I mean, take a break and go check out the first SAND book right here. It’s quick and free. The audio and sound effects you’ll hear were put together by Peter Jackson’s sound team in New Zealand. I got goosebumps as I read this story again.

Beyond the reading, the other side to Booktrack is the ease with which you can create your own soundscape for your stories. A mix of Wattpad and ACX, Booktrack is a brilliant writing platform as well as an aural creation platform. You just write or copy in your story, choose from the tens of thousands of mood tracks and effects, and layer them in. It’s so easy that schools are using Booktrack. Kids are not only getting exciting about reading by using Booktrack, they are retaining more of what they read!

Seriously, I haven’t been this jazzed about a new way to read (and write) in forever. I’ve had readers send me songs over the years inspired by my works, and now those creative folks can be turned loose on the books they love. In fact, we want to help you all see how easy and fun it is by having a contest. With over $20,000 in cash prizes!

We have taken my novel HALF WAY HOME (my wife’s favorite) and made it free to read on Booktrack. There are two competitions here. You can use Booktrack Studio to write your own HALF WAY HOME fan fiction and give it an immersive soundtrack. The winner will get $5,000 and editorial feedback from me (the latter is punishment, believe me).

There is also a soundtrack competition where you create or mix existing audio for a chapter from HALF WAY HOME. Again, the winner gets $5,000 and the chance to soundtrack my novel THE HURRICANE. The rest of the prizes and all the details can be found right here at the page set up just for this contest.

12 responses to “The Beauty of Booktrack”

  1. OMG! This is great. I’ve previously experimented playing mood-swinging music with some of my favorite books. It’s an entirely different experience to reading. The effect is magic. The song and the story get associated with each other in your mind and they combine to create something else and this “something else” goes deeper inside you.

  2. I LOVE how you are trying out new things and sharing them with us. I bet this will be a lot of fun for your community!

  3. Phyllis Humphrey Avatar
    Phyllis Humphrey

    That might be a great thing for some people, but not me. If I want music when I read a book, I’ll choose my own. But I think there’s too much noise in the world already. Silence is golden. Thinking takes place. Imagining. Great ideas. Most of all, enjoying a book for its own sake. Reading requires no enhancements. It’s perfect the way it is.

  4. Hello, Hugh. Fascinating idea, adding sound to books. Seems like a group of wild children is happy to do that for me every time I sit down and try to read at the public library.

    Not gonna do it this time, Hugh; figuring out all those fancy knobs and levers over there at the website would just be too much for these old bones. Plus, whenever one takes time away from one’s writing, one is inviting the procrastinaries into one’s life.

    And you gotta watch out for those procrastinaries, Hugh. They reproduce by masturbating.


  5. P.S. Good on you for taking care of those progress meters, Hugh.

    Hugh 1, Procrastinaries 0.

  6. And here I thought I was being innovative by making Spotify playlists for each chapter of my novel. Booktrack is so much cooler!

  7. I was listening to florence and the machine when I was reading Wool. To this day whenever ‘Spectrum’ plays, I think of Holston’s wife

  8. […] Howey effectively blew my mind the other day with his May 28 post, “The Beauty of Booktrack.” This isn’t necessarily a way that I want to experience books (with a soundtrack), but I can […]

  9. Hey Hugh,

    I am so glad that you discovered this platform. I am so jazzed by it that I crammed this weekend just to do a sample of my book. It was so much fun and now I’m planning on doing it for my upcoming book too. It feels like a radio play, something that I have always wanted to do except with this platform it is free and so easy! Anyhoo, I am seeing you speak on Tuesday at Kobo in TO. Can’t wait to see you in person.

    Cheers, Heidi Loney.

  10. […] You know great things are coming when super self-published author Hugh Howey has attached himself to it by offering up a sample of his latest novel Sand and a contest tie in for fans for his short story Half Way Home. Read more about what he has to say on his own website. […]

  11. Hugh,

    With the entries in and judging taking place at the end of the month, any plans to encourage your readers to check out the stories/soundtracks? It would be cool to see fans of yours rate and comment on all the entries as that feedback would be so good for aspiring authors!

  12. […] “The Beauty of Booktrack” by Hugh Howey – May 28, 2014 […]

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