By David Marlett, Managing Director, enkHouse
Ok, here we go. I’m very pleased to be launching this column, Tablet to Tablet, full of high hopes that I can help illuminate the current status and forecast (Nuts! Wow! Explosive!) of the interactive transmedia publishing and production industry.
First: we’ve gotta come up with better names for this friggin rocket ship of interactive eBooks and uber-apps called “transmedia”. Is that Count Dracula at the head of the table?
And “enhanced eBooks”? Really? I’ve taken to calling them eeBs. Hate it? Whatever. Tell us your better idea.
(Seriously, email me and I’ll post some of them).
A little about me: writer, producer, trouble-maker, entrepreneur, recovering attorney, founder of enkHouse, and poster boy for the SSW (Secret Society of Weebles). Card carrying member, thank you very much. Frankly, if you’re still in the publishing business after the past 3, 6, heck 10 years, then you too have an SSW card: you wobble, but don’t fall down!
So, where was I? Transmedia.
We have this definition on our website’s masthead:
trans•media \ ˈtran(t)s- ˌmē-dē-ə \ n (21c) 1: a communication experience that combines elements of visual, auditory and tactile strategies 2: communicating an extraordinary story via a jazz fest of traditionally separate media 3a: story innovation that goes beep, boink or swoosh b: see enkHouse
A cool cat assistant editor, Ian Birnbaum, wrote that for us. Nailed it if you ask me.
Basically, transmedia is one big mash-up of storytelling vehicles. It is where, quite literally, everything and anything is possible. And with the iPad and its soon-to-be-released competitor hounds, we now have a number of platforms upon which to play.
That leads me to something I find myself saying a lot lately: “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” But I’ll save that for future columns.
Sure, enhanced eBooks and transmedia production are complicated, in ways, but they’re also about as straightforward as it comes. Eons ago, mankind first began creating ‘portable’ devices for relaying stories and other information using a ‘tablet’, and here we go, back to it again. That fascinates me. Maybe it does you, too. Again, a recurring subject in future columns.
So what inspired me into this medium? The same as for many of you, it was twofold: The idea of being able to have an interactive novel wherein the story is exponentially enriched through embedded media. And of course, The Elements.
The imagination of the ‘what if’, mixed with fascination for what was already being done, led to the launch of enkHouse. Then came our first partnership.
The brilliance of the Pillars of the Earth app (the world’s first movie-eBook combo) with its multiple applications from storytelling to advertising, led us to partner with its software creator, KiwiTech. And now, a few weeks later, we are aggressively pursuing new horizons of exploration and design and technological wonder.
I don’t feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store, but rather part of a team of kids building their own friggin’ candy machine.
So, back to this new DBW column: In Tablet to Tablet, we’ll talk about what’s happening in digital books and transmedia publishing; the coolest new technologies; (maybe a few things about our own projects); and we’ll definitely discuss the nature of storytelling and how to best utilize the newest means of storytelling for a profit! Yes, it’s possible.
‘Til next week… write on.
David Marlett is the managing director of enkHouse, a transmedia production company based in Dallas and Los Angeles, focused on enhanced eBooks and interactive apps for the publishing, film and other entertainment industries.
Interested in learning more about using transmedia storytelling and cross-media strategies? Join us at StoryWorld, the only major gathering of industry leaders, decision makers, and transmedia specialists, to explore new business models, innovative partnerships, and fresh revenue streams.