With multimedia and transmedia, Romance readers have so many options open to them today. It's helpful to readers to know some of what’s available. First we hear the terms transmedia and mutimedia a lot nowadays. Mulitmedia is the same product in different forms. I'm going to use my books as examples to make it easier. My Ebooks: Druidess, The Druid Bride, The Wolf and The Druidess, Queen Of Kings, Prince Of Powys, Peace Love Music, To Love A London Ghost, and Conquistadors In Outer Space, all come in a print option as well. Another example is my eBook, The Scottish Selkie, which will be available as an audio book soon. I plan to put my self-published eBooks: The Scottish Selkie, The Celtic Fox, The Celtic Vixen, The Scottish Selkie and A Fine Caldron of Fish in audio, and print. Both of my publishers, Eternal Press and Ellora’s Cave have begun offering some of their authors’ books in audio. More and more books will come in more than one form such as eBook, print, audio, and even graphic novels.
The term transmedia means developing a story across multiple forms of media to deliver unique content in each form. This content is linked together in narrative synchronization with each other. Henry Jenkins who coined the phrase Transmedia, defines it as storytelling that “immerses an audience in a story’s universe through a number of dispersed entry points, providing a comprehensive and coordinated experience of a complex story.” So writers might have a book and a game, with the game as new content which expands a bit more on the world, the story, and the characters from the book.
As far as my transmedia, I'm keeping it simple right now. I have my novel, The Scottish Selkie, and I have a short story, Samhain Warrior, that has the same characters and is in the same world as the Scottish Selkie. It explores Malcolm’s original transformation from human to selkie in a bit more detail. The Scottish Selkie is in eBook and Audio (Soon) but The Selkie Warrior is in a different format, it's on Facebook. Everyday, I offer the exclusive story, one paragraph at a time on Facebook. So that's transmedia. I also have a pinterst board of the world of The Scottish Selkie, so again new content. Also I post on twitter, still another form of media, about the Selkie Warrior story on FB and the Scottish Selkie pinterst board, and the novel, The Scottish Selkie. What I just described are four forms of transmedia based on the main source, the book - The Scottish Selkie.
What does all this mean for the reader? Readers, you can now choose if you want an eBook, a print book, an audio book or graphic novel, even. And you will also be able to explore the world and the characters of a book with new content in short stories, comics, games, videos, music, and more. You have options you probably never dreamed of when it comes to reading books. Transmedia is an area in which the Romance genre needs to move ahead as the SciFi and Fantasy genres have a jump on us and are offering a lot more transmedia options for their readers.
It’s fabulous to be an author or a reader now while the publishing industry is transforming and offering more options than ever before. Please comment below on your thoughts on transmedia and multimedia. Readers, would you be interested in playing video games or reading web comics based on the characters and the worlds of some of your favorite romance novels? Authors, please comment on transmedia and multimedia and tell us what you are your publishers are doing to move in that direction.
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Cornelia Amiri, who also writes as Maeve Alpin, is the author of 18 published romance books. She lives in Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus.