In this digital age, text has been assimilated into various media formats via numerous mechanism. Websites, social media and online magazines incorporate the written word alongside video, music, animation and art. As a result, fans of books who also consume digital media will appreciate authors who attempt to do the same with their own written words. After all, who could be be better at enhancing a book’s story-world than the person who created it?
In today's digital mashup culture, books must evolve to reflect the increased blurring of media formats. Traditional media has evolved into an array of crossover and mashup variations, often instigated by its consumers: fan-fiction, for example. Elsewhere, HTML5 allows the incorporation of sound and video into device-responsive ebooks. And although this is utilised primarily by non-fiction, it should be embraced by fiction writers also. Authors who do so are experimenters in the new digital entertainment laboratory, where traditional books have almost been relegated to a role of Petri dish.
Although author websites are an ideal platform for polyauthorism, they must be considered to be little more than its core. From it, a diverse means of reader engagement is possible, ideally from depersonalized platforms; that is, platforms that aren't author-owned and are beyond Twitter and Facebook. Diverse creative platforms such as Joomag, Dribble, Slideshare, Deviantart, Clyp, Souncloud, Ello, Behance all offer opportunities to connect with other creative artists with whom collaborative projects can be developed that are directly related to an author's books. The benefit of such collaboration is mutual, as both parties gain exposure from the other's audience. For authors, it's no longer a question of having a platform from which to showcase their work, but what the platform is built from.
Books, that is text, have evolved and so must authors. They must experiment and collaborate with other creators to discover new ways of engaging existing readers while cultivating new ones. Through their innate creativity, authors are ideally positioned to diversify their skills into arenas where their story-world can be expressed in new and unexpected ways. This additional media can prove a powerful tool to portray story-worlds for the author, and for the reader, this complementary media not only makes a book more immersive, but provides alternative means to experience an author's intent.
The written word has evolved, and authors must do the same. Doing so ensures they counter obscurity, cultivate readership and remain at the cutting edge of what books will continue to deliver.