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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Unlocking Transmedia Narratives With Tech, Cults, And A Little Paranoia | Fast Company


"...I see kindred spirits in author Michael Grant and Alex LeMay, a TV and film producer who runs a Chicago-based company that creates multimedia for books. Grant may be the biggest-selling author you never heard of. Author (and co-author with his wife) of 150 books that have sold more than 35 million copies worldwide, Grant pens paranoid thrillers set in dystopian worlds, characterized by mass delirium, conspiracies, cults, phobias, plagues, shadowy guerrilla groups, and war--kind of like high school. Which may account for his audience: mostly teenagers.

Half a dozen years ago Grant, now 57, was feeling hemmed in by the limitations of print when he, too, had a vision. Physical books’ days were numbered, he realized, and when digital came it would completely upend publishing. Not just the business--which would be decimated by big-name authors bypassing traditional publishers in favor of doing it themselves and keeping the lion’s share of revenue for themselves--but the art form. Merely porting text on a page to a screen wouldn’t make full use of the media. Instead, he saw it as a way to unlock narrative from the constraints of a text-only canvas, and this offered glorious possibilities. Rather than dickering over the rights to a song to include in a book, why not offer the actual song as an audio clip, and layer in video and photos? While he was at it, he could create separate platforms with teeming communities built around a story and create a universe where readers become characters. Suddenly the book becomes a living, breathing, mutable endeavor where each audience member chooses his or her own path through multiple narratives...."

Posted via email from Siobhan O'Flynn's 1001 Tales

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