I was recently asked to give an interview on transmedia and how publishers can embrace a seamless, fluid movement of story and audience from platform to platform and enjoy the longevity afforded by fragmenting story.
Looking beyond the ‘buzz’, there is huge value for publishers in fragmenting stories, extending their longevity, scale and scope by adopting a transmedia strategy; by nurturing networked connections with audience and tapping into a market that increasingly demands choice and accessibility. Demands on our time and attention are everywhere and that’s why a compelling, fabulous story must be at the heart of a transmedia property. The thing with this too, is that a reader won’t enter a transmedia experience knowing that’s what they’re doing – it would defeat the object and without a huge element of ‘discovery’ transmedia falls flat and becomes a one-dimensional map. (I’ve found that when people are told to ‘go’ and ‘click’, they tend to shake their heads and bristle.. When they discover that ‘this’ is a part of ‘that’, they’re excited and start to spread the word.)
In a sense, it could be debated that there are few literary worlds that a “reader is going to want to spend a disproportionate amount of their reading time in before leaving them entirely for the next book on their nighttable”, however nobody is asking for a disproportionate amount of time – it’s not a demand, it’s an option. Transmedia behaviours are built on ARG’s and there are legions of ‘non-players’ who are hooked on Farmville, Bejewelled, solitaire even who might have said that they’d never ‘waste’ time in such places. An immersive literary world has the power to draw readers in, make them want to unpack their bags for a while. This ethos, coupled with a transmedia strategy can encourage interaction, conversation and natural behaviours when readers choose to be a part of the bigger jigsaw puzzle, or simply enjoy the book, for books sake.
It’s great that the London Book Fair are excited about transmedia possibilities, and storycentralDIGITAL will be running an intensive workshop as part of Digital Book World (NY, Jan 2011). For some magic discount codes don’t hesitate to email at storycentralDIGITAL (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) uk