Huge crowd of visitors at Gamescom 2011

Transmedia as a strategy: bookworm meets gamer

Frankfurt book fair @ Gamescom

Attack is the best form of defence. The Frankfurt book fair learns from the mistakes of the music industry and faces the digital transition with a promising strategy: Transmedia Storytelling and Storyselling. The perfect interlink to the games industry that has entered even the last corners of social media at the Gamescom. held an interview with Britta Friedrich, Head of Marketing at Frankfurt book fair and Frankfurt StoryDrive on new concepts for the print industry.

To actively follow the flood of new books in Germany is hardly possible with 800,000 new releases every year. Much like the new releases have increased over the years, the Frankfurt book fair added new themes. As early as in the 1990s, ebooks and the matching readers have been a topic. That's why it is not surprising that the Frankfurt book fair visited Cologne's Gamescom for new storytelling ideas – Britta Friedrich explained what significance the new conference "StoryDrive" encompasses before this context.

Contents are flowing, they are changing between the different medias

The StoryDrive conference takes place under the roof of the event series "Sparks". "Sparks is a platform of Frankfurt book fair intended for the media, for entertainment and the technology industry", says Britta Friedrich. "Last year, we introduced the allmedia conference StoryDrive - a conference with a focus on storytelling enabling the industry to connect." For two days, StoryDrive does not only feature presentations by internationally renowned people from the gaming-industry, film and TV but also workshops whose methods deliver examples for best practice.
"Contents are starting to flow more - they don't only happen within one medium but offer new points of contact between the industries", says Friedrich. "Much like books, the games and film industry tells stories. With digitalisation, the industries approximate each other - stories can be told in a new dimension." Digitalisation - the buzzword that is increasingly used by the book fair to enter the market. The first wave of ebooks and their readers in the 1990s raised hopes that haven't come true yet: Instead of exploring new revenues, the ebook market was bogged down. Since Sony and Amazon rushed ahead, the industry revived its gold fever mood.
"The book is starting to transfer itself", says Friedrich. "The book also has the function to condense the new trends - and film was a topic in Frankfurt as early as in 2000.

The book industry does not have a master plan so far

Much like the book itself is changing, so is the book fair: from a mere book fair to a media and content fair. The world's largest book fair is a place where publishers and authors present new projects and negotiate deals. The fact that digital book sales in the USA exceed printed versions at least on Amazon is something that many find shocking rather than grasping the underlying new opportunities. German distributor's and publisher's association "Deutscher Börsenverein" showed some reaction but the Libreka project for ebooks bobs up an down in the depths of the world wide web and seems rather half-baked.
"We use the opportunities of digital evolution but the industry does not have a master plan yet on how to progress with the new technology", says Friedrich. "There are not payment models at the moment.
Yet the quantum leap is happening right before our eyes.


Frankfurt SPARKS - the Digital Initiative of Frankfurt Book Fair Drive your Future: at Frankfurt StoryDrive – the world's first all-media content platform.

Sat, 16.06.2012 0

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