Wednesday, September 21, 2011
KidlitCon 2011 Recap - Part One
This year, the festivities went down in Seattle, arranged by Jackie of Interactive Reader and Colleen of Chasing Ray. It's a gargantuan task, and they did a stellar job. The conference was expanded by an extra half-day of panels on Friday before the full day on Saturday. I could go through all the panels I attended one by one, but I think I'll just call out the highlights.
I decided that this year I'd try out new things, and went to two panels on new ways of storytelling and delivering content. The first was on transmedia storytelling, meaning stories told through a variety of platforms. Examples include Patrick Carman's Skeleton Creek series, which mixes a paper book with online videos, and the 39 Clues series from HarperCollins, which blends a book series with card collecting and an online game. The presenters themselves were the creators of the Angel Punk world, which encompasses a novel, a comic book, and a feature film, among other things. The point I came away with was that transmedia is more than just tie-ins; it's using multiple platforms to tell the story.
The second was presented by Mary Ann Scheuer of Great Kid Books, Betsy Bird of Fuse #8, and Paula Wiley of Pink Me. They talked about the brave new world of picture-book apps. Currently the 900-pound gorilla in that market is the iPad, although chatting with Chris of BookDads afterwards, I discovered that the Nook Color also has some picture-book apps as well. These aren't tie-in games, these are the digital equivalent of pop-up books, with activities embedded within the story. To my surprise, it's not confined to the picture-book realm. There were some ridiculously awesome nonfiction titles in the stack, as well as one particularly neat chapter book. It was pretty neat to see how well (or not) publishers had enhanced content without sacrificing story or information. It strikes me that Choose Your Own Adventure would be an ideal fit for this medium (and a quick iTunes check shows me that there are indeed a few Choose Your Own Adventure titles on the market). I'll be keeping an eye on this because I really want to figure out how libraries intend on using them, if they do at all.
Enough for now! Leave 'em wanting more, that's my motto. Up next: more panel goodness, and fun with Tweeting. Fittingly enough, my KidlitCon experience ended with an exchange of tweets. But you'll hear that next time.