The future of ebooks is spelled Zlatan

I confess: I have never been interested in football, never go to see games, don’t read sports news. But when the famous Swedish player Zlatan released his book I bought it since I felt that his life story was interesting. And indeed, I found his story captivating, especially his descriptions of all the drama on the field when he makes all these incredible goals.

Since I have never seen Zlatan play on TV either, I immediately missed seeing pictures in the book. And the next thought was of course “Why is there no ebook version of this with pictures and videos from the games?”.

So a few months later I was happy to learn that the Swedish publisher Bonniers has released an iPad version of the book, so I bought that one too. (The English version is called I am Zlatan)

Here’s my conclusion:

This is the way for non-fiction ebooks!

Why? Here’s the hard-cover book, where Zlatan describes his reception when arriving in Barcelona:

And here is the same part in the ebook version:

The image adds to the feeling, don’t you think?
And then there are more pictures and a video clip from the arena, where 60 000 people is cheering his arrival!

The ebook version lifts Zlatan’s story to a whole new dimension for me. I just feel that for non-fiction books, this is the way they should be. For pure fiction I am still quite satisfied with “just” text.

So I have now added attending a game with Zlatan to my “things I must do” list, since I want to experience the feeling that I get when enjoying this ebook.

But the economics are strange in the book business, the enhanced ebook version with all the pictures and videos is the cheapest:

The Swedish pricing for Zlatan book :

  • Hard cover: 169 SEK
  • Regular ebook (just text) 147 SEK
  • iPad ebook app (Bonniers Mag+) 136 SEK

To me, the enhanced ebook version carries a lot more value, so I would gladly pay more for it.

So my message to publishers is:

  1. Get out there and showcase this kind of ebooks! I have not seen any ads or PR yet for the Zlatan ebook app, and nobody I have enthusiastically mentioned it to have been aware that it exists.
  2. Titles like this with their broad appeal can be used as spearheads to motivate readers to pay good money for ebooks!

The user reviews in the App store confirm this. Average rating so far for the Swedish version is 4,5 stars, with reviews like these:

“This is exactly how I want to read and enjoy a book. Great storytelling”
“Super cool re-imagination of the normal reading experience. Really shows the potential of the ipad as a reading tablet!”


Published by

Henrik Ahlén

I am an eHealth Strategist in Stockholm, Sweden I drive eHealth development projects from needs analysis and idea generation to service design and implementation. See my LinkedIn profile:

2 thoughts on “The future of ebooks is spelled Zlatan”

  1. Zlatanboken och Zlatans berättelse spränger alla möjliga rekord och gränser!

    * Försäljningsrekord
    * Nya läsare – ungdomar som aldrig läser böcker – läser zlatan
    * Nya rekord e-bok lån biblioteken
    * Nya säljrekord, ett sorts genombrott?,för e.boken
    * Och riktigt intressant boken om Zlatan utvecklar den transmediala berättarformen för fackboken som du visar ovan.
    Behöver inte vara att man väljer den ena eller den andra formen vid köp utan istället köper båda om man är riktigt intresserad alternativt lånar på biblioteket förstås1

Comments are closed.