Would you pay $10?

Would you pay $10 To read an online novel that was sprinkled with video clips, audio clips and pictures?

I started thinking today about a story I’ve been working on for the last 15 years. Really it’s been that long. Not consistently though. Here and there. When I was younger I always dreamed that one day I would make it big in Hollywood and be given a lot of money to make this epic masterpiece motion picture.

Well I’ve directed many short films and a feature film, but it’s been years since I’ve made a film and I never made it to Hollywood. Mostly because I stopped caring about Hollywood somewhere in my twenties. But I’ve been really wanting to get back into making more films and really focusing a lot of story and characters.

About five years ago I came up with this idea to just write the story as a novel and put it on a website and charge people to read it. But rather than just being a novel I would also shoot some scenes, record some audio and make some pictures. I would tell the story in multimedia. Think of it like this, you might read a chapter and then the next chapter might be a short film almost like a dramatic television episode. And/or as you read a chapter you might find that certain words or lines are links that open up short video clips or audio clips or photos that help tell the story. There may also be some level of interactivity to the story, like games or puzzles sprinkled throughout. Not to mention the ability to discuss the story chapter by chapter with the community of other people viewing it.

Recently I’ve heard of another author that was doing something similar but not as in depth as this. Specifically for the iPad. The emergence of the iPad and devices like it that I’m sure are soon to follow, really open up this concept and so it’s come back into my mind. But most people don’t have an iPad, myself included. Even so, many people spend so much time these days on the internet watching videos, reading articles, blogs, message boards and viewing pictures, that I figured the idea might just be viable enough.

The question is, if the story interested you, would you pay to access a website that let you view a story told in multimedia? It’s not something you would own, just a flat fee you paid once to have an account that let you access the site and all the content. What would be the price that would be enough, but not too much? Would $10 be fair?

Keep in mind that a project like this would take a lot of time and money to pull off. From the amount of time and energy in writing the story to the cost of production shooting the scenes, paying the actors, props, locations, etc.

This entry was posted in General.

0 thoughts on “Would you pay $10?

  1. I’d consider it, but unless I had some kind of “trial” (official or on someone else’s account or something), I’d probably pass.

    I’m not a huge fan of multimedia stories. That’s just me.

  2. I haven’t experienced one yet, but I’m very intrigued by the idea and I think I’d really like it. I’m looking forward to reading “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” which is a simplified multi-media. That said, it would kinda suck if it weren’t portable. iPads aren’t very common yet and I think I’d definitely like it to be in a larger format… not an iPod or cell phone screen. But yeah $10 is still totally fair.

  3. I think that because it is a new format, I wouldn’t be willing to pay much over the cost of a regular book, if anything at all. Sorry to be harsh, but it’s true. Since electronic books are generally around the $1-5 range (correct me if I’m wrong), I probably would be willing to pay $7.50 at best for a said multimedia “book”. On the upside, if the plotline appealed to me even the tiniest bit, I would be more than happy to fork out the money to see how it’s done.

    This is probably largely influenced by my brokeness as a college student, but there it is nonetheless.

  4. Personally I probably wouldn’t be motivated to pay to read a story just by the presence of multimedia. The story is what matters to me and that’s what determines whether or not I pay to read something. I would think in the big picture, you would be putting in a lot more effort than if you just published the story itself but probably not get that much extra money or readership for it. I could be wrong. But if that little extra bit would be worth it, go for it. It just wouldn’t be worth the effort for me. 

  5. Honestly, I think there would be too much going on and would distract from the story.  Maybe have it all on one page as you read through it.  Like sort of a book with pictures either on the side, top or bottom of the text.

    However; if I was going to read something like this I feel $10 is fair.  Only because most books in paper back are around $7 to $8 bucks and online books (popular books, that is) goes for around the same price.  You do need to be compensated for your efforts as well as over head costs.

  6. I don’t mind reading things on the computer, but I know some people that really prefer to read on paper. So that’s one thing to consider. But I don’t think the multimedia would really entice me to spend more, because I think it would just distract. If it was just a plain movie, okay, or just a plain story…but the combination doesn’t really do much for me. Others might have a different opinion.

    As to the cost? Well, I understand you want to make money from this, but consider that there are billions of free movies and free reading material out there on the internet. Why would someone want to pay $10 to see a movie or read a story (or some combination of the two) when there are lots of online free literary magazines, free TV shows, and you tube available. (Not to mention off-line sources like television and the library). Maybe you could consider just offering it for free, and then hope to gain some recognition?

  7.     I belive you are thinking big, and the comments above me are thinking small.   As a form of media, I do believe there could be a potentally huge market. Whether the technology is there to deliver it on a large scale (eg through kindle or nook) is definitely a “no.” Reading books on the computer so far is not an enjoyable experience (even kindle readers generally prefer books for most of their reading)…bottom line, as a concept your idea is ahead of its time but would be a fabulous way to dig into a book (possibly on an ipad?).
         I love the idea of making fun of stephanie meyers with  other readers while i’m reading her trash, seeing a chapter as conceptualized in the movie,  or asking another reader what his/her thoughts were on a certain passage.   Have you thought about what it might take to  put together a prototype (as cheap as possible) for a book that’s already been made into a movie and has some associated blogs in orderr to present to Macintosh reps?  

Leave a Reply