Early this year, there was a report out of Japan that stated this interesting fact: half of the top 10 books published in Japan in 2007 were cell phone novels before they were paperbound novels. That spurned an idea that cell phones (and other electronic devices) were the disposable medium of the 21st century just as cheap pulp novels and magazines were to the early 20th century. Just today, on NPR's Morning Edition, was a story about comics on cell phones.
Now comes Stephen King's crack at the market. Stephen King's "N" is a animated comic story being distributed via cell phones and the web. Click the link for a preview and the first episode. One 2-minute episode will appear at that site every weekday until 29 August.
Guess you know what I'll be doing every Monday morning...
Still, this foray by a giant of the printed word into a new realm reiterates the changing nature of writing and distribution. Like Marshall McLuhan said, "The medium is the message." And, as one who is open to new things, this new King venture is exciting both as a reader and a writer. And it underscores another thing: content is (pardon me) king. Sure, folks will turn out to read something by Stephen King even if it's delivered in a new way. But the doors that Mr. King opens by means of his name is a passage that other writers, including myself, can go through. Ditto with podcasting and folks like Scott Sigler and Seth Harwood. It's just up to every author to write things that folks want to read. That is the challenge. And I, and all the other unpublished authors out there, will take up the gauntlet.
Just not for two minutes every weekday until Labor Day. I'll be busy.
Thanks Mr. King.