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German Transmedia: Storytelling to Stimulate Several Senses

29 December 2013

From Publishing Perspectives:

Despite a firm distrust of term “enhanced ebook,” the buzz around transmedia storytelling has by no means died down. In fact, in the 10 years since media studies scholar Henry Jenkins helped popularize the term with his article “Transmedia Storytelling,” numerous examples of transmedia storytelling can be found in more and more disciplines. Jenkins’ initial definition characterized transmedia storytelling as storytelling in which “each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.”

In the German publishing landscape, transmedia storytelling has been utilized to bring stories to life and enable reader involvement well beyond the book itself. Transmedia campaigns which combine media such as blogs, social media platforms, photos and videos to introduce readers to a book’s backstory are developed by creative digital and marketing agencies in cooperation with publishers and authors.

. . . .

One of their most recent collaborations is Deathbook, a serial thriller in 10 installments. Deathbook is more than a book — it’s a multimedia world that manifests itself throughout social media, on blogs and via QR codes, in which a horror story is brewing that threatens to spill over into real life. The concept is the brainchild of the German Rowohlt Verlag, a large publisher of trade fiction and nonfiction which belongs to the Holtzbrinck Group. Earlier this year, the publishing house enlisted thriller author Andreas Winkelmann to writeDeathbook, a digital serial novel about a string of inexplainable deaths related to the internet and a “network of death.” However, readers don’t have to wait for the first serial to be released to enter the story. On the “Posten und Sterben” (“post and die” ) blog, readers can delve into the story via the ramblings of a frightened blogger trying to warn the online community away from an evil force on the Internet.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives and thanks to Eric for the tip.

Enhanced Ebooks, Non-US

9 Comments to “German Transmedia: Storytelling to Stimulate Several Senses”

  1. An old friend of mine was involved in the media blitz for the movie AI. (Yeah, more than a decade ago, I know.) He created a whole network of clues and stories and visuals to be found online as part of the publicity before the release. There were mysteries to be solved. ;) So this isn’t a new idea.

  2. We already have a form of media that stimulates one sense. It’s called radio. We have another that stimulates two. It’s called television. TV didn’t kill radio or books. If a new technology catches on and we find ourselves experiencing smellevision, I doubt it will kill any of the above.

  3. Well-written BOOKS stimulate all senses – else why would we bother describing the honey-maple aroma that wafted across the kitchen from where Donna was cooking bacon in the nude – the only way to make sure it doesn’t burn – and whistling a happy version of ‘White Christmas’?

  4. Nude bacon? This opens a whole new world for food writers.

  5. At a certain point, it’s not a book anymore, but a computer game. A less state of the art game than the average game.

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