Friday, August 24, 2012

Preview: Corrupted Classics

In early 2012 HarperCollinsPublishers Publishing Director, Shona Martyn, and Head of Digital, Mark Higginson, gathered together a small but intrepid group of staff from various departments and issued a challenge: to go where no traditional, book-loving trade publisher had gone before — into the land of the digital unknown.

Staff were separated into teams, given a small budget and asked to produce an original digital publication or product to release into the market. Each team was asked to create, research, cost and produce their product. The winning team would be the one that generated the most revenue for the business. After months of surreptitious meetings, brainstorms, setbacks and small victories — the Corrupted Classics team is the first of these Project Flash Pub groups to release a product into the market.

Corrupted Classics is a collection of very short stories that will make you shudder in fear and wriggle with gruesome glee. See history’s best-loved book characters face a fate more cataclysmic than academic obscurity. These are the classics as you have never seen them before: alive and well in the realm of the undead. Head of Digital Mark Higginson said: ‘As digital reading platforms continue to gain traction with consumers, so too does the opportunity for experimentation and connecting readers with the written word. Corrupted Classics is a wonderful example of how digital publishing is able to quickly respond to market demands and reinvent traditional narratives for the modern reader.’

The Corrupted Classics Facebook page has had over 1200 likes, and is attracting zombie-loving e-book fiends by the minute. Corrupted Classics is ready to take the e-book market by storm, even if it has to raise the dead to do it. View the trailer here.

Three other Project Flash Pub projects are still in development. Shona Martyn said: ‘In the world of digital, we need our publishers, editors and other creative team members to think about creating book products in a totally original way. Rather than attending seminars, reading articles about the future of digital or simply transforming existing books into e-books, we thought it would be fun to get staff to become the authors and the creators themselves so they could truly explore the medium — and test the results by actually putting them on sale. I am thrilled by the outcome. This has been empowering, a learning experience, has strengthened inter-departmental bonding and, hey, now we are selling the first product!’

Tim Miller, the Marketing Executive at HarperCollins Australia, was kind enough to send Weekly Update a copy of Corrupted Classics which will be read and reviewed by Kieran Colfer, the first member of the new AH Weekly Update Review Team. Those interested in joining the team should check out this post. In the meantime, stay tuned for Kieran's review.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a volunteer editor for Alt Hist and a contributor to Just Below the Law. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and his own writing blog. When not writing he works as an attorney and enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana.

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