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The book with 11 different endings

posted 15 Mar 2012, 07:19 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 15 Mar 2012, 07:20 ]

A new digital novel goes on sale on the internet on March 19 which for the first time offers readers the choice of 11 different endings. We meet the UK author behind the unique project.

UK-UNIQUE BOOK - Wondering how a book ends is one of the joys of reading.

So having the choice of 11 different conclusions may seem a little strange.

But that's what author Caroline Smailes has done.

Her latest novel '99 Reasons Why' is the first ebook to place the fate of its characters firmly in the reader's hands.


Caroline says she came up with the idea after some of her readers criticised the ending of her previous work.


Caroline Smailes, author, saying

"My first two novels I had a habit of killing off characters at the end, maybe it was the mood I was in when I was writing them at the time but some people when they read the book had strong reactions to it some people threw the book in the bin, another person ripped it up they weren't happy with the fact that I was killing people when they'd invested in the character all the way through and they wanted something good to happen with them at the end."


So Caroline and her publisher Scott Pack from HarperCollins decided to try a little experiment by letting the reader choose their own ending.


iPad users will be presented with a spinning wheel when they reach chapter 89.

They simply pick a number and their chosen ending is displayed.


E-books account for around 10-15% of sales for most UK publishers - at HarperCollins it's 50%.

Scott Pack, head of product development, HarperCollins, saying

"E-books need something a little bit different. The tradition with any new technology is that people just put old stuff on it so when television first started you had radio presenters in black tie behind a radio mic announcing tv shows and it took three or four years before people realised no you don't just do radio and put it on tele you have to do something different and ebooks at the moment, 95% of them, maybe more are just print books digitised. So we wanted to do something a little bit different."


Not everyone may agree but Scott and Caroline hope people will give it a go.

Caroline Smailes, author, saying

"I know that some readers and writers feel like there's only ever their responsibility to give one ending and some people say that there's only ever one ending to a book. For me for this one there was 11 but for the novel I've just finished there was only ever one ending, so it just depends on the story you're telling at the time."


New technology is being used to make the unique book.


And Caroline hopes there will be plenty of people with Reasons Why they want to buy it.


Hayley Platt, Reuters.

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