Friday, June 20, 2008

The mystery of the missing audiobooks

Something new in digital storytelling: The Amanda Project from Fourth Story Media. This venture is a joint project by HarperCollins Children's Books and Fourth Story, headed by Lisa Holton, past President of Scholastic Trade and Book Fairs. The multi-tiered publishing effort combines print, blogs, social networking, games, and online clues in a mystery series that will include eight books. There will be merchandising as well - look for T-shirts, stationary, and more.

This reminds me of Scholastic's The 39 Clues, another combination of mystery series with online content - one that has the added attraction of top-name authors such as Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman,
Peter Lerangis, and Jude Watson on board. Not to mention the prizes totaling $100,000 to the readers who solve the mystery! The Amanda Project seems squarely aimed at girls, while The 39 Clues looks to be fairly gender-neutral.

But the publicity of both ventures has no mention of the downloadable, digital content of audiobooks. Yet both Harper and Scholastic have their own children's audiobook publishing divisions. Looks as though a large segment of today's digital natives will be left out - the fast-growing, plugged-in group of audiobook listeners. Both of these ventures have left out the sense of hearing from their multi-sensory plans. A curious mystery indeed!

No comments: