On his blog, The Late Age of Print, Ted Striphas, author of The Late Age of Print: Everyday Book Culture from Consumerism to Control, considers Book: The Sequel, an experiment to take place during this year’s Book Expo America in which individuals can contribute by picking a book, imagine its sequel, write the first sentence, and give it a great title. (You can visit the Book: The Sequel site to see some examples.)
The various contributions will then be released by Perseus Book Group in digital, audio, electronic, and print formats, and all within the span of 48 hours. While this is clearly an experiment, Striphas sees “Book: The Sequel” as indicative of some trends in the publishing industry. Striphas writes, “I’m usually fairly circumspect of experiments like these. Rarely are they particularly well thought through, and often they put far too much faith in simple, technological solutions or outcomes. Not here. Perseus proposes a remarkably holistic picture of what book publishing could be in the not-so-distant future — or later this week, if you want to get all “the future is now” about it.”
More specifically, Striphas points to crowdsourced content, multiple versions of the same product, and post-publication interactivity, all central to the creation of “Book: The Sequel,” as features that are likely to become increasingly prominent in publishing.