Hey, in this wired age, anything is possible! And it’s so happening! When we reviewed The Amanda Project (TAP) a few months back, we were delighted to discover how after reading book one Invisible i, the TAP fans made the leap to the website where the story (and writing contest) continued. I was taken aback by the fans’ enthusiasm and the creativity in their online writing. Confirming the rumors that teenage girls in particular love to express themselves. I’ll say!
But Facebook? Okay, many books & authors are on Facebook (FB). Some book “fan pages” are like, “here’s my book, buy it and the tour is such and such”. Obviously author personal friend pages are much more fun cuz they are real people “doing Facebook” like the rest of us. But how about the character from a story actually having his our her OWN FB friend page, and not only allowing the story to continue, but interacting directly with the readers/FB fans, AND the FB fans becoming an integral part of the continuing story? Mind bloggling!! That’s like stepping through the cover of the book, right into the story and being able to say, “Watch out! The bad guy is sneaking up on you RIGHT NOW!” and have the character duck, make his escape, and say, “Thanks Peggy! You saved my neck!”. Fantastic! What an age we live in… 🙂
Not only is this rolling as we speak, but how about taking it to a whole new level by using FB to have a character from a book call a live meeting with the fans as part of the story? With a Web-cam! I’m not joking, it just happened to me… I received a message via Facebook to click a link to a meeting, and then watched live as a video conference took place, with fans calling in, emailing, etc. Cannot get anymore interactive than that! Of course, once the meeting adjourns, we then have access to it in video form. Sweet.
Who is doing this and how can you jump in? Right now, Skeleton Creek Investigations has not only its own FB fan page, where fans are given clues, puzzles and even tasks to sharpen their investigative skills, but the main characters from the novels Ryan McCray and Sarah Fincher have their own friend pages. Not fan pages, but friend pages!
(Fan pages are not as interactive – designed to function more like a bulletin board style fan club. Friend pages are like, “yo dude, I’m doing laundry then chowing down at The Burger Buns”. Or whatever illuminating breaking news folks post for their FB friends.)
And yes, you guessed it, the live video conferencing meetings (The You Show) are part of Skeleton Creek Investigations as Ryan and Sarah continue to explore the mysteries of the haunted dredge. After “going to” the meeting I noticed that there is a livestream chatroom in The You Show (TYS) site – yet another level of social multimedia! TYS – It’s All About YOU!!!
I searched and my beloved Cathy Vickers (from the Cathy’s Book trilogy) also has a FB friend page…. in FRENCH. Okay, so I can’t read it, but I joined! TAP has a great FB fan page with puzzles, prizes and more… And the Ghostgirl (cuuuute books!) FB fan page has more contests and fun interactive activity, but no one is doing anything like Patrick Carman’s live video conferencing! Yower!
So once we start evolving beyond book storytelling in the multimedia universe, we can enter the realm of alternate realities where readers can add to the story in some way or interact with the characters using real world media… vmail, email, chatrooms, texting, etc. Depending on the content, some are referred to as Alternate Reality Games (ARG) while Thirteen Days to Midnight (coming soon) is described as an Alternate Reality Experience (ARE). Young and would be reluctant readers are eating it up while expanding their reading… and writing!
Anyway, with the recent flurry of activity in Facebook, just thought I’d mention that multimedia is a fun wildfire out of freaking control. Jane, stop this crazy thing!
Post Scriptum: Now Skeleton Creek has its own live-stream meeting!