The imagination debate! Will multimedia (Immersive Cinematic) novels ever take off?

When I began to create The Frequency Effect, I was presented with a mountain to climb. Irrespective of how difficult it would be to create a multimedia experience - or go beyond it with VR, a soundtrack, music videos and an immersive premiere - I was doing something different. 

Different doesn't always mean people are going to jump on board, something I was very aware of. In fact, I knew that partly the reason multimedia novels had never taken off is because there isn't the expertise or marketing machine available to deliver them. The literary agents, and publishers aren't movie houses or record labels and vice versa. 

Of course, this meant it was very difficult to get any of them to buy into the concept. It's hard enough for an agent to launch a book by an established author or a record label to launch a follow up by a world renowned artist. As for movies, many blockbusters are shelved from the promo circuit if their early screenings go badly. What hope had I got?

I respect them all completely. I had no problem when agents told me it wouldn't work, or simply didn't understand it. There was no precedent, no examples of success. I was taking a massive risk - and I knew it. Many journalists thought it sounded interesting but didn't get it - as it was so different. Luckily though, I took excitement in those who got it straight away. The ones that did wanted it to go further, but unfortunately I didn't have the budget and awareness to make that happen.

But there was always one question that made me think and it was a very important point raised by the agents who has dealt with multimedia novels previously and many of the early reviewers. They loved novels with a passion. For them, the concept shouldn't be tampered or tainted. I understand their view. Reading for them is their safe haven. It is their escapism. It is their route away from digital. 

Of course, I listened and ensured that I catered for them with a follow up. But, I don't believe that they speak for everyone. In fact, there are millions of people who never read. Literacy rates are still at very low levels, but these individuals are definitely not socially unaware - quite the opposite.

Their world is not the same as a critics. Their imaginations are created by the things they see on social media - which presents a different question. Maybe they could be drawn to reading from a different perspective by speaking to them through multimedia methods - especially as the book's themes covered their love of technology.

J.S.