Software engineers Alex Milewski and Sherisse Hawkins have created Beneath the Ink, a platform that lets authors add bonus content to the text of their eBooks. They can provide additional character background, maps, images, video – “anything that helps further the reader’s understanding and engagement.” Beneath the Ink calls the extra content, or enhancements, “binks.” Publishers can also use binks to promote other titles by the author or other similar eBooks.
Beneath the Ink has an interesting business model. Authors and publishers pay to use the service and they can decide whether they’ll charge readers extra for the binks. Readers have the choice to click on or ignore a bink. For those who do click on a bink, Beneath the Ink also provides a way for those readers to request more information from the author.