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What's Next in Storytelling?
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What's Next in Storytelling?

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  • Scholastic survey of 2000 children in the US from age 6 to 17;



  • Expensive to produce, works with biggest properties
  • Interactive; really got to get the costs down though
  • Told online and via series of books and cards; online/offline game, with apps. Very transmedia.
  • So far, three books; evidence pack with photos, notes, napkins with writing on. Websites, phone numbers, etc; and now converted to iPhone and iPod Touch, for ridiculously low price of 99 cents.
  • Similar, but obviously slightly older audience. First book out now; eight books in total, including writing from fans. Slightly confusing mix of blogs and questions; e.g. what was in her locker, but seems to go down well with readers.
  • Combining a whole load of interesting ideas into one. Weekly serial historial/fantasy novel for adults; completely digital distribution, with mobile and iPad apps; subscription plans ($6 for 6 months, $10 for a year, renewing). Finally, users can influence and write story and world themselves. Works because these guys are well known and have no costs. But perfect for genre authors.
  • Back to earth. Hear more about this in about an hour, but collaboration between Stardoll and Random House. Serialised story over 8 weeks where readers can influence story through voting, take part in writing competitions, and of course, buy virtual goods related to the story.
  • Again, hearing more from these guys - working with Penguin to publish series of books based on the game, with code letting people unlock secret moshling in the game. Similar thing happened with Club Penguin.
  • Episodic videogames for variety of IP. Same engine, got a very good process for creating regular installments with good development tools - essential for this kind of episodic gaming. Works across range of platforms.
  • PS3 game, really phenomenal artwork and animation; pretty conventional serial killer story, but still makes it better than most games. Projected to sell about 2 million, not bad for new IP and new game style - means that we’ll be seeing more. Compared to a movie.
  • BioWare responsible for some of most successful console games of last decade; always heavily story based sci-fi or fantasy role playing game. SW:TOR is interesting because it’s their first MMO - so this could rival or even beat World of Warcraft by means of the strong episodic story they create.



  • Live transmedia experience integrated with TV show, online and across Twitter and Facebook. Gained almost 200,000 fans over run of the show; season 2 coming out soon.

    Also making our own IP online and on mobile.

  • In no particular order; 66% of kids still want to read books on paper
  • Worth saying that iPhone is not going away any time soon, no matter what people say about Android. These guys understand what consumers want, even if they are a pain for all of us to work with.
  • Publishers have these strengths
  • New set of skills required for these products, and need to work out relationship with developers. In-house? Use 3rd party tools (which don’t exist yet?) Contract developers? Work with them like with authors? Really need to get away from just selling single books as well.

  • Transcript

    • 1. What’s Next in Storytelling? Adrian Hon Founder and Chief Creative, Six to Start The Bookseller Children’s Conference 2010
    • 2. 2009 2010 We Tell Stories Smokescreen Best of Show Best Game Best Experimental
    • 3. Devices, Platforms, Revenue Models
    • 4. 25% have read a book on a digital device 57% want to 6% of parents own an eReader 16% plan to, 83% would allow/encourage it 39% of children say information online is “always correct” Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report (2010) - mediaroom.scholastic.com/kfrr
    • 5. Freemium Subscription Micropayments
    • 6. What’s Out There?
    • 7. Alice in Wonderland (Atomic Antelope)
    • 8. Spot The Dog (concept, Penguin)
    • 9. 39 Clues (Scholastic)
    • 10. Cathy’s Book (Running Press/Perseus Books)
    • 11. The Amanda Project (Fourth Story media/HarperCollins)
    • 12. The Mongoliad (Subutai)
    • 13. Stardoll: Mortal Kiss
    • 14. Moshi Monsters (Mind Candy)
    • 15. Telltale Games
    • 16. Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)
    • 17. Star Wars: The Old Republic (BioWare)
    • 18. Six to Start
    • 19. We Tell Stories (Penguin)
    • 20. Smokescreen (Channel 4)
    • 21. Misfits (E4)
    • 22. What’s Next?
    • 23. Race to Quality Mobile and Facebook Storytelling Disintermediation (mostly online) New Entrants/Ongoing IP (author-driven?) Transmedia Segmentation of eBook Reader market Physical Stuff
    • 24. "We have lots of kids downloading lots of apps, and parental controls don't work unless the parents set them up (many don't). So know that we're keeping an eye out for the kids." iOS App Store Review Guidelines
    • 25. Strength in marketing, production, brand, and authors Understanding readers
    • 26. Figure out how to work with developers Different business models
    • 27. Contact Us Email adrian@sixtostart.com Twitter @sixtostart Web www.sixtostart.com Phone 033 3340 7490