SK's short story "N" available as a 25 episode animated film
Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:30 am
Link to the website and full sized trailer below.
http://www.simonsays.com/specials/steph ... m#register
The official article below:
In his new short-story collection, "Just After Sunset," Stephen King delivers his usual spooky tales. But to promote the book, he's come up with something unexpected: a video series based on one of the stories.
In a promotion expected to be announced Friday at Comic-Con, the big comic-book convention in San Diego, a previously unpublished story by Mr. King has been transformed by Marvel Comics into an animated video. The 25 episodes will be distributed in a variety of online and mobile channels ahead of the book's publication Nov. 11. Starting Monday, new episodes will be released daily, five times a week, through Aug. 29.
The willingness of Mr. King and publisher Scribner, an imprint of CBS Corp.'s Simon & Schuster book-publishing arm, to remix the story, "N.," into bite-size video vignettes underscores how eager publishers are to come up with new marketing techniques at a time when book sales are flat or slumping. Five years ago, Mr. King's publisher might have taken the creepy short story and offered it to a literary publication like "The New Yorker" in expectation that a first serial sale would create interest in "Just After Sunset." The story focuses on an unlucky psychiatrist whose latest patient is "infectious."
Scribner and Mr. King are betting that a digital adaptation designed for those with short attentions spans will be more productive. They're trying an increasingly common marketing technique. Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. film studio recently released a new online cartoon series to promote its new Batman film "The Dark Knight."
Beginning Monday, Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store will sell a pass for all 25 two-minute episodes based on Mr. King's 54-page story for $3.99. Amazon.com Inc. will sell the series too, at the same price.
Video episodes will also be available free on Monday for subscribers of various cellphone services and on the Web, on sites including CBS.com. In a nod to the everything-should-be-free crowd, fans can snag the video player online, and post the episodes on their own blogs or on social-networking sites.
To lure those who see the video into buying the book, at the end of each episode viewers will be directed to a Web site, NisHere.com, where they can pre-order "Just After Sunset" from a variety of online retailers.
For Scribner, the venture is a shot in the dark. There's no way of forecasting how well the videos will translate into book sales. While Scribner's corporate sibling, CBS Mobile, cites Nielsen data showing that roughly 14 million cellphone users in the U.S. pay for video services, it doesn't know how many of those people are regular book buyers. However, the links from the videos to the NisHere.com pre-ordering Web site will allow Scribner to get a sense of how many sales result from video viewings.
Mr. King is optimistic about the video's prospects. "I think they're readers," he says of likely video viewers. But he admits that the venture is "something of a test" whose outcome isn't certain.
The veteran thriller writer likens the effort to the bumpy experience of the first electronic books. "The first soldiers out of the trench are always machine-gunned. But somebody has to go first, and I'm curious about this. You try these things and see what happens."
Scribner publisher Susan Moldow says the imprint expects to attract a younger generation of readers. "Once they try Stephen King, they'll want more," she says. Scribner won't disclose its investment in the promotion. There will be a Scribner edition priced at $37.50 that includes a DVD of all 25 video episodes in addition to the traditional $28 standalone book.
Mr. King has long been interested in digital technology and its potential for attracting new readers. Back in 2000, the author and his publisher successfully released the novella "Riding the Bullet" solely on the Web. The work, free on some sites and $2.50 elsewhere, attracted a total of 400,000 downloads in the first 24 hours.
Not all his digital experiments have worked. Also in 2000, Mr. King posted six chapters of a budding novel, "The Plant," on his Web site, StephenKing.com, asking readers to pay $2 for each chapter. But eventually Mr. King suspended publication.
Now Mr. King is trying again, this time with the help of Marvel Entertainment Inc.'s Marvel Comics. He teamed with Marvel in 2006, when the two launched a comic-book series based on "The Dark Tower" -- a series of seven related novels that Mr. King wrote over a 22-year period. Marvel is also working on a 30-issue comic-book adaptation of Mr. King's classic apocalyptic novel "The Stand" that will go on sale in 2009.
Marvel created the video episodes of "N." specifically for small screens, with tighter camera shots and slower movements. "This isn't about reading a comic book on a tiny screen," says Ruwan Jayatilleke, Marvel Entertainment's senior vice president.
Thanks to Lilja's Library for the post: