Bob Tinsley: Hefalumps and Woozles, or, Ebooks and Scripts

transmediaby Bob Tinsley


That’s a hot new buzzword making the rounds of the prose indie publishing interwebs. I searched for it on TVWriter and got two hits; in neither of them did I find the word “transmedia”. Don’t know what the deal with that is.

But I digress.

Among the indie publishing crowd transmedia means taking the book you sweated blood and cried tears over and migrating it to other forms of publishing, i.e., audiobooks or screenplays or some other means of distribution in order to reach a new audience and generate new income streams.

I first came across this word on Monday, August 12. It took about three days for the bells to start ringing in the back of my head. I gotta tell ya, that’s very distracting. Amongst the clamor it dawned on me that I had some audio scripts that I could make some minor changes to and indie-publish as ebooks on Kindle and Nook.

Back in the mid-2000s I ran across a website called “Darker Projects”. They produce original audio dramas for distribution on the web. I have always been a big fan of Old Time Radio (The Theatre of the Mind!), so I figured this was the Best Thing Ever.

Surfing around the site I discovered a tab called “Contribute”. Clicking on it I found that they were looking for people to help expand their offerings, from voice actors to producers to sound engineers to directors to – wait for it – WRITERS!

This was my new favorite site. A few years earlier I had purchased a book by J. Michael Straczynski called The Complete Book of Scriptwriting and in this book was a section on writing for radio drama. Radio drama/audio drama, potaytoe/potahtoe.

I devoured that section of the book and began surfing the web trying to find examples of radio scripts and advice about writing them. Oddly enough, I was able to find quite a bit.

After doing what was probably way too much research (does ANYONE do just enough research?) I began to write and submit scripts to Darker Projects. At the time, the King of Submissions (aka slush pile reader) was a guy named Elie Hirschman, a real mensch. He also did more than a little voice acting and directing. He actually liked some of the stuff I sent in, immediately endearing him to me like a brother.

Over a period of about three years, DarkerProjects produced five of my scripts with a full cast, original music, sound effects, an intro and outro, the whole magilla. The product Darker Projects put out was as professional as anything available then or now.

HEROES is the title of the produced script I chose with which to dip my toes into the Transmedia Stream. The “shooting script” was about 13 pages and resulted in a 21-minute audio.

The DarkerProjects crew are still producing new audio, so you should go to their site and listen. Everything is available for free download or streaming. These guys are good. And so, I think, is HEROES.

Go there. Now!

A Couple of Major Film Players Move into the eBook Biz


Barry Diller And Scott Rudin In Talks To Launch E-Book Business
by Mike Fleming

Barry Diller and Scott Rudin are in exploratory talks to launch an e-book business for both fiction and non-fiction. I’m told they have had a lot of exploratory conversations and I expect an announcement of a venture launch shortly with major investment capital. The ramifications will be interesting.

Both Diller and Rudin are big players in media. Diller’s track record includes the new Aereo TV streaming service, IAC/InterActive Corp., TicketMaster and before that Fox (where Rudin became his president of production) and Paramount Pictures. Rudin is a prolific veteran producer of book-to-film and stage adaptations that most recently have included Best Picture Oscar nominees True Grit, The Social Network and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Read it all

This is a bigger story than Mike Fleming makes it because these two guys, in addition to being BigMedia honchos/darlings and right up among those considered hell pretty damn tough to work with or for, don’t get involved in anything unless there’s a ton of money involved.

In other words, if Diller and Rudin are behaving as though eBooks are the future, then eBooks are the future. Highly monetized eBooks. eBooks whose publishers will rake in huge bucks no matter what intellectual pirates “steal.”

We’re going to keep our eyes on this development and see just what biz plan they come up with. Because it’s going to be a good one…and wouldn’t it be terrific if writers could adapt that plan and do without pricks unwanted partners/employers like these?

Adult eBook Sales are – Erm – Up

No, no, no, not that kind of “adult eBook!”
This kind

Adult fiction ebooks outsold hardcovers in 2011: survey
by Christine Kearney (Reuters)

Electronic books more than doubled in popularity in 2011, with ebooks outselling hardcover books in adult fiction for the first time, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Net sales of e-books jumped to 15 percent of the market in 2011 from 6 percent in 2010, according to a report by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group. The groups compiled data provided by nearly 2,000 publishers…

While ebooks increased in strength, bringing in more than $2 billion in 2011, the majority of publishers’ revenue still came from print books, with $11.1 billion in 2011…

Ebooks have been growing in popularity for the past several years, even after major publishers were initially slow to embrace digital formats.

According to the report, in the adult fiction category, e-books accounted for 30 percent of total net publisher sales compared to a 13 percent share the year before.

Adult fiction ebooks beat hardcovers for the first time, however the combined print formats including hardcover, trade paperback and mass market paperback still had more revenue than ebooks.

“Ebooks have demonstrated unprecedented acceptance among readers but the various print formats remain dynamic as well, showing that consumers want options,” Vlahos said.

Read it all

In other words, there’s no story here. At least not one that fits the headline Reuters gave it. Why make an announcement of sales figures into a pseudo-conflict between eBooks and print and then further emphasize a non-existent “winner?” Oh, OldMedia, why can’t you play fair? Is it because you know you’re doomed?

Hmm, our last sentence just showed that there really is a conflict after all. Sorry, folks, we’ll just tiptoe away…

EDITED TO ADD: Okay, okay, we confess! The only reason we ran this was  because we wanted to do the thing with those two pics and their captions. Man, life sucks when you get caught. Damn.