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Case Studies Lisa Rutherford / Coliloquy
Coliloquy (a mix of soliloquy and colloquy) publishes books digitally as active applications, rather than static files. This allows authors to build ever-expanding worlds through episodic, serial storytelling and engagement mechanics, like choice and voting, branching story lines, re-reading loops, and personalized content. The result is an incredibly fluid and immersive story-telling experience. Lisa Rutherford, the co-founder and CEO, shares the innovative thinking behind the platform.Coliloquy Website
Fluid promo demonstration
Coliloquy Steams Up Interactive E-Books
Mashable Article - Beyond Choose Your Own Adventure
She starts and ends the presentation by talking about how the E-book revolution shouldn’t simply emphasize new hardware and multimedia capabilities, but rather the text or story itself. Choose-your-own-adventure narratives are nothing new, but now they can evolve into a much more fluid framework. With Coliloquy’s erotic novels, readers can choose just how steamy it is and what the desired character looks like according to their unique tastes.
All the incredible data is eye-opening for the authors. They can respond to where many readers stop reading, which sections are real page-turners or which characters scenes have readers reading them over and over again. A romance interest that the writers and agents despised and was supposed die in the second half of one book was way more popular than anyone thought. This was according to the data. Readers were quiet and may have been afraid to admit it in the forums and on social media so ultimately the author decided not to kill the character. Instead, they sent him to prison leaving it open for a potential return.
This fluid storytelling has made Coliloquy look for writers and stories that truly fit the platform. The production process requires authors to have the flexibility to produce around a team. Some amazing manuscripts they’ve fallen in love with, but know they should be printed as novels.
Coliloquy doesn’t just provide authors with a technical platform and editorial work. There’s a collaboration with the authors on the front-end of the writing process to help them understand which features would be best suited for the work and its target audience. All the narrative pathways get resolved upfront so authors aren’t as worried about how it’ll all work out in the end.
A lively Q&A session followed the presentation where we learn that the mostly women-focused titles are the result of a business decision, but Coliloquy is also looking for a great legal thriller and moving into non-fiction. As for as their revenue model, it’s a 50-50 revenue share off top-line revenue and authors get paid on a monthly basis.
In the future, authors may release best of/most popular versions of the narrative pathways, and multi-reader technology is being explored for book clubs. They imagine if the group is reading a zombie apocalypse thriller and one reader makes the wrong decision, everyone dies.
Coliloquy books can be found in the Amazon, NOOK, or Google Play stores. As of this writing, eight books have been released. There will mostly be two new releases per month. In September, three big launches are true cross-media stories with large social media and web components.