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New horizons for digital media

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#1 brendan_gannon


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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:49 AM

Hi Mary,

I'm a big fan of your Kid Lit and Kid Lit Apps blogs, and I'm interested in the spread of ebooks and related digital media. Publishers seem (understandably) uncertain where to direct their energies in the digital world. On the one hand, people still debate the practical value of something as simple as a book trailer; on the other hand you have projects like Scholastic's SKELETON CREEK successfully extending narratives across web, print, and mobile app plaftorms.

What do you see as having the most potential for promoting books (or intellectual property, as a book spans media), and for encouraging reader engagement? What multimedia ventures do you find most exciting?

#2 Mary Kole

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:41 AM

Good question. I really find cross-platform series like SKELETON CREEK and THE 39 CLUES (Scholastic) and THE AMANDA PROJECT (Harper) to be interesting...but I'm wondering if they've worked out as well as the publishers have hoped. I know 39 CLUES is really popular but...since these series have launched, there have been fewer platform-busting series in the pipeline than I figured there would be. Something must not be performing to expectations. And it's much more expensive to launch, design, and support a cross-platform series than it is a book series or an app series. Is the investment paying off?

Right now, I feel like book promotion is stuck in a cycle of blog tours and Facebook ads which are effective, sure, but there needs to be something new and innovative. I'm still waiting for what that might be. In the meantime, email lists are a publisher's (and author's) best friend. Getting blasts out to people via an opt-in email list, Twitter, or Facebook works really well (much better than blog tours), so while we're waiting to see a new web advertising breakthrough, I tell everyone to keep building their email and contact lists. People are relying less on ads these days and more on the advice of their personal network for shopping decisions. It's a backlash to the faceless big agency marketing of the 20th century.

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