Publisher Dutton has paid millions
for a digi-novel by Anthony Zuiker, the creator of the CSI tv series. The series is three books with a companion website to promote interactivity.
Zuiker's chapters will close with codes that readers can use online to unlock "motion picture footage" that continues the storyline from the book. The deal, for world rights, was made by president and publisher of Dutton, Brian Tart, with a littany of players: Dan Strone, CEO of Trident Media, Brillstein Entertainment Partners, Morris Yorn and Barnes & Levine and CAA.
Zuiker's story, of a government investigator named Steve Dark who goes rogue after his family is murdered by a drug kingpin, will, as Dutton noted, "move from books to film to the web with ease." Although the house called the deal "unprecedented in the publishing industry," it mimics, on some level, what Scholatsic is trying to achieve with its much-hyped multimedia project, The 39 Clues.
In addition to online film clips, the multimedia effort will include a web-based community portal with different characters and more spin-off storylines. According to Dutton, the portal will be a place readers can "consume countless ancillary levels of story enrichment." Tart said the best way to think of Zuiker's forthcoming work, slated to launch in fall 2009, is as "storytelling 2.0."
It's an interesting concept. Television and book fans already flock to the web to read more about their favorite stories and characters, so it's a natural progression for storytelling.