People might still be lamenting the rise of e-books, but while they debate, technology marches on. This may come as news to some, but authors these days are no longer providing "manuscripts," they're providing "content." Because that story that's been rolling around in your head for years might end up on the pages of a book, as bits and bytes on an e-reader or even get translated into a game.
Check out this announcement from Kristin Nelson yesterday:
FICTION: YOUNG ADULT
Flash media and online game artist (with an already created Facebook game set in the world with 13,000 registered users) Marie Lu’s debut dystopian YA trilogy starting with LEGEND, set in the flooded Republic of Los Angeles 2130 A.D., about a boy who is the Republic’s most wanted criminal and a girl who is the Republic’s most beloved government prodigy whose paths cross when her brother is murdered and she is hired to hunt down the boy responsible—but the truth they uncover will become legend, to Jen Besser at Putnam Children’s for fall 2011 publication, at auction in a very major deal, by Kristin Nelson at Nelson Literary Agency (World).
13,000 registered game users, before she even had a book deal! Amazing!
Meanwhile, the former president and publisher of Simon & Schuster, Rick Richter, has launched his own company, Ruckus Media Group, to create high-def story apps for kids. The first book available, The Velveteen Rabbit, has the story read aloud by Meryl Streep while the screen zooms and pans over classic illustrations. The company plans to digitize favorites like Tom Thumb and John Henry. But they've also signed up authors like Jon Scieszka and Andrew Clements to create new work specifically for this format. You can read more about this at Publisher's Weekly and at RuckusMediaGroup.com
Big publishers are getting in on the digital movement as well. Random House Children's Books recently partnered with Smashing Ideas, Inc. to create similar book-based apps for kids.
Individual authors are getting in on the act, too. Last October, author/illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba released Lula's Brew for the iPod/iPhone and she recently made it available for the iPad as well. And back in June I wrote about a company called Smories.com, that takes short, original stories from authors then has them read aloud by children. The site gets more than 500 submissions each month, and the videos receive more than 35,000 views.
So...how will gaming and video change books? Are you ready for this new frontier?
And the winner of a Roald Dahl book is:
Congratulations, JEM! Email me at solvangsherrie at gmail dot com with your mailing address and the name of the book you'd like.