From our guest writers at cBooks. Not a sponsored post.
Imagine an ebook where you can access a character’s backstory, inner thoughts and motivations in the normal way but you can also see and hear the people and locations through the power of film and its ability to propel you right into the action. With a cinematic book or cBook you read a chapter on your e-reader and then click to view the ensuing clip which propels you to the next chapter and so on. The story is therefore revealed, half in a written and half in a film format.
There are artistic and commercial reasons for doing this.
- Artistically: We have all had the experience of watching beloved novels become slightly disappointing feature films because some of the intricacies of the original story and the insights into the characters have got lost in translation. The cBook means that this depth of background can be retained whilst allowing the reader into the characters heads and in so doing, deepen their emotional investment in the story. Conversely, readers often complain about not being able to ‘get into the world’ of the book and find it difficult to visualise the characters and location. Sometimes this is not the fault of the book but a common difficulty for the reader to disengage from the real world and enter the fantastical new world of the book. A cBook transports you right to that world after a first short chapter.
- Commercially: In our view, e-books are, for the most part, merely replicating conventional books in an electronic format. As a result, they are losing market share to the old style printed books. E-books, however, can do so much more. Why not go to places conventional books can’t go? Do things they can’t do? Children’s illustrated ebooks are a case in point. They are losing market share dramatically to their hard copy counterparts – why not bring those illustrations to life with live character animation? Although the first ever cBook, Monsoon Tide, is an adult’s fiction book with live actors playing out the scene, there is no reason why the next cBook should not be a children’s book with animated cartoon characters propelling the story.
Who should consider making a cBook?
Non fiction authors looking to bind and reinforce their narrative with film clips. There are numerous stock footage and newsreel libraries that can provide current or historical film clips on every subject imaginable. For fiction authors with a book that has filmic qualities (but unlikely to hit the silver screen) they can collaborate with local film-makers to shoot the necessary scenes. This need not be expensive, media and film-making courses abound with students needing to fill their portfolios and similarly, drama schools are a good resource for finding acting talent wanting to create showreels. To pick up on an earlier point, children’s authors currently have a wonderful opportunity to embrace the recent character animator innovations announced at Adobe MAX this year. The tools for making high quality cartoon film clips cheaply and effectively will soon be out there for everyone. Again, if the author is averse or unable to use such technology then they can team up with someone who can.
There are many low budget film-makers who have rights to a completed film that would benefit from adding chapters. The original screenwriter can supply this narrative or even a writer totally unconnected with the project. Our guess is that there are many film-makers out there with material that they are happy to exploit. Since the loss of DVD as an important independent feature film sales outlet, the industry has been searching for a new sales platform. Internet sites dedicated to selling films by download have faced an uphill battle, with many pirate sites and some customers who feel that films should be free to download. Digital e-books maintain a platform where the customer still expects to pay something. Although we have secured sales for our film Monsoon Tide, the cBook gives another income stream while promoting the film at the same time. Win-win!
The future for cBooks.
Although this is a brand new story platform, for film-makers it is also a brand new sales platform. As new technologies are making film creation ever more affordable, sales and distribution platforms for the work of small independent film makers are failing to efficiently monetize their work. There are a whole host of very good, well-made movies that will never be seen because without a theatrical release or a marketable star, there is very little hope of their rising to the surface in a sea of other such films on current internet platforms. Today, most independent feature films fail to break even, despite the plummeting costs of production that make them possible.
This is not the case in the e-book world. Numerous authors who have self-published their work on platforms like Amazon have found a readership for their books. Probably the best known of these is E.L.James with her Fifty Shades trilogy (Fifty Shades of Gray sold over 100 million copies worldwide). Through reviews, digital marketing and flexible pricing, authors have used these e-book platforms to reach their markets.
We really hope that Monsoon Tide will appeal to people both in terms of the story itself and of the new cBook concept. If it is successful, we definitely plan to make further cBooks.
We hope that some authors, publishers and film-makers will take this as a call to action and either learn the skills necessary or collaborate with those that have them to make future cBooks and in doing so, further establish this concept to sit alongside ebooks and conventional books.
Until then, we hope that you will have a look at our first cBook – Monsoon Tide – available on all e-book platforms and see what you think!
And if you would like to look at the Monsoon Tide trailer (trailers are yet another advantage of the cBook over an eBook), scroll down a bit.
More information can be found at http://cbooks.co/press-room/