Jurassic Park diskette

The instructions explained how to use the interactive features.

Annotated Alice cover
Expanded Book Catalog

A brochure advertising Voyager Expanded Books.

EB T shirt

T-shirt given away with Voyager Expanded Books.

Detail map of San Francisco, California, United States Overview map of San Francisco, California, United States

A: San Francisco, California, United States

The Voyager Company Develops "Expanded Books": Electronic Books that Would Attempt to be Both Familiar and Useful to Regular Book Readers

1991 to 1992
Jurassic Park Cover

"The actual programming for the initial products happened over a relatively short period, between October and December 1991; the first three book titles (The Complete Hitch Hiker's Guide to the GalaxyThe Complete Annotated Alice, and Jurassic Park) were released at MacWorld San Francisco in January 1992.[3] These books and their successors relied upon a "book engine" that provided a simple but powerful feature set: various convenient and simple search methods, the ability to switch between large print and normal print versions, various unobtrusive navigation tools (such as a chapter menu that dropped down from the chapter heading on each "page"), a margin area on each page in which readers could write notes, and, interactive annotations. For example, Moby Dick included a sound clip of the sea as an annotation,[4] and The Annotated Alice provided pop-up annotations derived from both editions of Martin Gardner's work.[4][5] However, some readers found these annotations unwieldy and difficult to navigate, with poor usability.[4]

"'Expanded Books' was not initially the definitive title of the product range. One other favored contender was "Power Books", but that idea died when Voyager was told Apple's about-to-be-released notebooks were to be called PowerBooks. Hence, the original project name became the product name.

"Between February 1992 and August 1992, Voyager created The Expanded Books Toolkit, which allowed authors to create their own Expanded Books. Voyager themselves went on to produce over 60 books as Expanded Books; the underlying software was also used in CD-ROMs such as A Hard Day's NightSalt of the Earth, and Macbeth.[1][6]

"All programming for the Expanded Books and Toolkit was in HyperCard, with the exception of a few XCMDs and strings stored as resources." (Wikipedia article on Expanded Books, accessed 6-2019).

Thanks to Bob Stein for the 5 images and the reference to the video reproduced here.

"This is the video the founder Eleanor Stokes created for a Douglas Adams animation contest, sponsored by The Literary Platform in 2012. The audio was recorded by Adams for Voyager Books in 1993. Voyager Books was the first company to produce ebooks, and Adams was their first author."

Timeline Themes