The fate of the ‘book’ has been the subject of contentious discussion and debate for decades. Concern that technology may undermine, or even lead to the demise of, the traditional long- form fiction novel, or the ‘book as a physical object’ has been evident in the writing of many theorists over many years. Societal changes and interminable technological advances encourage the book’s continual evolution from the historical codex with which readers are familiar to a rich architecture of content across multiple media and modes. As concepts and definitions of reading and writing continue to evolve, the general concept of literacy in a participatory culture is undergoing a paradigm shift (Jenkins, 2006; 2009; 2013). The subsequent revolution in reading requires an examination by authors of what it is to ‘write’, and of publishers of what it is to publish in this ever-changing reading environment. As the boundaries between author and publisher continue to blur, this paper depicts an auto-ethnomethodological account (a form of analysis that examines individual methodologies used in creating) of the process to write/design/create and prepare for publication a new form of book-as-object: an mBook. Used as a generic term to describe a novel that incorporates multimodal elements into its paper format with the use of Augmented Reality, the mBook includes a combination of traditional and new media methodologies, including paper, print, audio, video, animation, and special effects.
Khyiah began her career as a high school computer studies teacher. She taught for ten years before giving up teaching to write young adult fiction. She completed a Masters of Creative Writing while writing her first novel, and worked as a writer-in-residence in a large Sydney high school, convening young adult writers' groups, for two-and-a-half years while working on her second novel. She is now a candidate for a PhD in Creative Writing at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. Her degree is practice-led for which the creative component is a multimodal novel for young adults with multiple parallel narrative arcs spanning text, video, augmented reality and kinetic typography. The exegesis component concerns the Phenomenology of Young Adult Reading.