Zuiker Re-Invents The Crime Novel

By Rachel
July 21, 2009 - 1:39 AM

Anthony Zuiker, the man behind CSI, created the "Digi-Novel" to reinvent the publishing industry.

Zuiker's Level 26 series will bridge the gap between traditional crime novels and the popularity of online content. "The publishing industry is going through a major transformation due to the technological revolution," Zuiker wrote on TheWrap.com. "People are reading and consuming more and more online." He added, "We want our entertainment on the go, anytime, anywhere, on any device."

"Everything is changing," Zuiker explained. "More and more businesses are converging. Companies are downsizing. Especially publishing. If you don't think so, pick up a Variety or Hollywood Reporter. The running joke in Hollywood is that it weighs the same as a table napkin."

"Point is, this form of media is dying," he added. "There is no profit attributable to print anymore. Publishing, for the most part, is headed towards extinction. Music went through it. Television is walking the plank. Industries are failing." However, Zuiker is confident that "it can all be saved. All it needs is a reinvention. In publishing, the Digi-Novel is that reinvention."

"The Digi-Novel is a novel, movie, and website all in one," he shared. "Imagine, a horror crime novel written with the same pagination style as James Patterson." Zuiker doesn't think the Digi-Novel will replace traditional book reading, but he says "it will give it a run for its money."

The chapters in each Level 26 novel will be short. "After twenty or so pages, the story will stop and you will have the option to log into level26.com and enter a code," Zuiker said. "That code will unlock a 'cyberbridge' which is a three minute motion picture scene which 'bridges' you from one chapter to another. It's not a recap, but a transition."

"Sometimes it's a love scene. Other times it's a horror scene or a music video. Sometimes if you call the killer, he might even call you back," he added. But it isn't necessary to log onto the internet each time to understand the story. "If you want to read the novel cover to cover, you will not miss a beat, but if you engage in the cyberbridges, you will read an entirely new way," Zuiker explained. "And when the book is over, the story continues online on level26.com for the community of fans."

There will be three Level 26 books. The first title, Dark Origins, will come out this fall. "[I]f you want an 'edgy version of CSI' which might just scare the crap out of you," Zuiker said, "pick up a copy on September 8th or pre-order one on Amazon.com."

The original article, written by Zuiker, can be read in its entirety on The Wrap.

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