Interactive writing

Interesting news out today that Simon & Schuster has launched an online interactive serial novel for teens.

At, the first few chapters of a new novel by New York Times best-selling author Jodi Lynn Anderson are available. Here’s the novel (forgive the pun) part: readers can vote on what happens next. And they can continue to do so every Monday through Sept. 13, when new chapters and voting opportunities will be added to the website.

Online readers also can vote on the final cover art for the novel, which will be released in paperback and e-book on Dec. 21.

According to the Simon & Schuster press release, Anderson said, “When Simon & Schuster approached me about creating an online book together, I was intrigued. It was a chance to create something really new … the interactive elements, getting the chance to involve readers in deciding on where the story will go. … It has been an exciting, creative process.”

It’s definitely an interesting experiment, and judging by the comments on the site, teens are already enjoying it. The website even has a Rec Room section, in which fans can dress up the main character (with sponsorship from JC Penny), explore a character’s bedroom, check out the school’s year book and read Anderson’s blog.

It will be fun to see how this new product plays out once the novel hits paperback. If it works and brings readers through to the final book, it could bring web-hungry teens to paper.

What do you think?

Write On!

3 Responses

  1. Andrea says:

    It’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? My teen daughter is pretty excited about it.

  2. Amy says:

    Sounds a little like Choose Your Own Adventure, doesn’t it?? Neat.

  3. That’s great that your teen daughter is excited about it, Andrea. Could be the start of a new style of publishing.

    Amy, it is a lot like Choose Your Own Adventure, except that, I assume, if you choose a path that the majority of others don’t vote for, you won’t see that path followed. But maybe they’ll do more than one.

What do you think?