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Anthony Zuiker’s Digi-novel

  • September 3, 2009
  • Maya
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Via USA Today

Anthony Zuiker, creator of the hit TV series CSI and its two spinoffs, says his new multimedia “digi-novel” will launch a “revolution in publishing for the YouTube generation.”

Level 26: Dark Origins, to be published by Dutton Sept. 8, is the first in a series in which each book will be supplemented with 20 videos, or “cyber-bridges,” featuring actors playing characters from the novel.

The series, written with Duane Swierczynski, features a rogue investigator who hunts serial killers.

The title refers to 25 levels used by law enforcement to classify serial killers. Zuiker vows to introduce readers — and viewers — to level 26.

After every 20 pages or so, readers will be able to go online to watch a three-minute video. The videos are designed, Zuiker says, “to embellish the novel and drive readers to the next book.”

Publishers are using websites and low-budget videos, but mostly to promote books, not as part of the book itself.

Zuiker coined the term “digi-novel” (for digital) but isn’t the first to combine text and video.

Scholastic, the children’s publisher, uses a website to add to clues in its best-selling series The 39 Clues and has a multimedia ghost-story series.

Patrick Carman’s Skeleton Creek, released in February, is split into two parts told by two characters: one through the text and the other via videos on a website.

Zuiker, 40, brings TV experience to what he calls “a triple platform”: books, videos and an interactive fan website, designed by the creators of lonelygirl15, the popular teenage blogger who turned out to be fiction.

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