Saturday, August 27, 2011

Erin Lale's Post on Transmedia Publishing

I was trying to get Erin Lale (author) to guest post but for some reason  the guest post thing wasn't working so she sent me her guest post via email and I am posting in on here for her.

Here is her post:

I'm the publisher and editor of Time Yarns, a shared world sf transmedia universe. Transmedia blurs the lines between what is a book, film, game, music video, graphic novel, etc. Since all of those things can be published in electronic format, they can also be published on the same platform, and I'm pushing the limits of what the current ebook technology can do. I anticipate that the limits I'm butting my head against on ebook platforms will disappear in a few years as the technology improves, but at the moment my main limitation is file size. It's hard to embed a lot of transmedia elements into an ebook platform designed for text only, just because of file size limits. As more people jump on the transmedia bandwagon and demand that the limits be pushed back, the big platform companies will undoubtedly respond to that demand. So, in the future, writers won't feel limited to text only books. There will routinely be pictures in books for adults, and life can have a soundtrack. There is a revolution coming.

How I got into transmedia is pretty simple. I used to publish and edit a print magazine back in the 90s. After the success of my first book, Asatru For Beginners, I decided to publish more books. A lot more books. I've published 10 books so far this year, and have 4 more to go which are in final draft stage. In 2012 I'm planning to publish 2 anthologies of other authors' works and 4 more of my own books. One thing I've learned from this project is that I actually like publishing and editing better than writing, which probably means I'm a little weird. Since I also do films, I decided to film a trailer for the Time Yarns book universe, which I'm still shooting. So I had video, and production stills, and props, and costumes, and so forth, and I thought, how coool would it be to include these in the books? I started putting the transmedia elements into the Punch series, and recruiting artists as well as writers for the Time Yarns anthologies.

On the technical end, I didn't know what I was getting myself into. I discovered I had to move all the video to host sites to avoid going over the file size limits imposed by the ebook platforms. And even so, I ended up breaking Punch up into 7 books to fit all the transmedia elements into it, although Punch has a story arc that runs from book 1 all the way to the end of book 7. But I am so glad I got into transmedia publishing, because this is the cutting edge, and that's where I always like to be. And I'm also glad I did Punch first, before publishing the anthologies of other authors' works, because by the time I finish the 7 book Punch series, I will have transmedia publishing down to a science!  Just a few years from now, maybe everyone will be publishing transmedia. Art will no longer be defined by whether it is made on cellulose or celluloid, canvas or tape. It will all be made on the internet. And that's the future I want to live in!

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