Monday, December 26, 2011
Is the Multi-Author Series the Wave of the Future?
Happy Hoppin' Holidays! Happy Boxing Day! (If you want to know what Boxng Day is, here you go.) Did Santa bring you everything you wanted? I hope so!
But I digress. What I really want to ask you is, "did you see the recent announcement in Publisher's Marketplace?"
NYT bestselling author of THE MAZE RUNNER James Dashner's INFINITY RING series, beginning with A MUTINY IN TIME, with subsequent books written by Carrie Ryan, Lisa McMann, Matt de la Peña, Matthew J. Kirby, and Jennifer A. Nielsen, an alternate-history time travel series combining books, "Hystorian's Guide" collectible maps and interactive feature (named for a secret society featured in the books), and an online game where readers travel back in time to fix history, to David Levithan at Scholastic, for publication beginning in September 2012 simultaneously in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Holy Hotdogs! What a team of heavy hitters. I immediately dashed off to do some snooping and found an informative article in the New York Times. Basically, in the seven book series the main characters will "encounter historical figures like Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Louis XVI and Harriet Tubman. Children reading the books and playing the online game can interact with the characters and press them for historical information. Playing the game — which will be available on the Web, smartphones and tablets — should lead children back into the books, which contain clues and information that will not be online."
It sounds like it's going a step further even than the game cards contained in The 39 Clues series, which my oldest son adores. (Confession time: I haven't read the series. Throw me into the middle grade dunk tank.) Mr. Dashner, in the NYT's piece, hoped that the interactive content of The Infinity Ring would spur reluctant readers to read more.
It certainly sounds exciting and innovative. (And I love me some time travel!) Do you think these sorts of multi-author series, with gaming/reading interactivity, are the wave of the future? Does this sort of thing excite you, or make you scream "please god, not more screen time for the kiddies!?"