The Digi-Novel

Another new publishing model has emerged.

Anthony Zuiker, the executive producer of the ubiquitous CSI television series, has announced the launching of what he calls a “digi-novel,” which is a bound book, in this case a crime novel called Level 26, with “cyber-bridges” every 20 pages. The cyber-bridges are short online films linked to the story, but Zuiker says you can skip them if you like. He’s billed the digi-novel as a breakthrough in convergence, but the experience truly converges only on a device that doesn’t exist yet except in a spider hole in the Apple development labs: the Apple tablet. Otherwise, you have to switch back and forth between a book (or an ebook reader) and a PC.

Despite its name, Zuiker doesn’t see the digi-novel as the future of the novel, but as the future of television:

Every TV show in the next five, 10 years will have a comprehensive
microsite or website that continue the experience beyond the one-hour
television to keep engaging viewers 24/7. . . Just watching
television for one specific hour a week … that’s not going to be a
sustainable model going forward.

The digi-novel is less innovative and elegant than the projects in development at Vook, but Zuiker has hit upon a radical idea: The book rescuing television from the short attention spans the latter exacerbated.

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