New Markets for Interactive Fiction

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For some readers, leaning back and reading a book isn’t enough. We need to lean forward, stir things up, take action. The popularity of fan fiction speaks to a reader’s love for directing where characters will go. Until recently, stories a romance reader could control were rarer than orange trees in Alaska.

Used to be readers of interactive fiction had to also be writers of interactive fiction. Used to be you wrote it knowing there was no publisher accepting submissions. You’d have to publish on your own and it would be read by a loyal but small band of interactive fiction enthusiasts swapping stories.

That’s changed.

If your looking for books to read or markets to write for, here are a few to check out:

Indy Publishing: We can thank authors like Jayne Rylon, bravely choosing to publish on their own and doing well with erotic pick-your-path-type stories like Rylon’s Pick Your Pleasure.Try searching interactive romance at your favorite e-tailer.

Carina Press: Even before Jayne released, Pick your Pleasure, Carina Press was looking for interactive romances but didn’t release one until August 2013–Choose Your Shot by Christine d’.Abo.

Random House: What If? series aimed at teen girls.

Avon Impulse: Avon is launching an erotic series, where “you decide how the night will end.

Harlequin: While Harlequin’s new offering, Chatsfield is not the first interactive offering, it certainly takes interactive romance in new directions. As this article about the project claims, “If you want to attempt something new in digital publishing, start with the romance genre.

Short Fiction: Silk Words (sexy, sexy, sexy short stories). You can purchase a single story or subscribe. The subscription strikes me as an excellent deal. They publish romance in a variety of heat levels including sweet.

Fiction as Apps:

Choice of Games Text choice-based adventure stories that are a mash-up of story and game. Choices here are deep choices that challenge you to ponder your values and what you will do to get the outcome you want.Try Choice of Romance.

Inkle Studios I also enjoyed  Cainesville Files (a visual adventure game and choice-based mystery)  by Kelly Armstrong. Inklewriter, a free tool from Inkle Studios, allows writers to produce simple text based interactive fiction in an epub format, or something more game-like. See the website for details.

So if you’re thinking of taking on a new writing challenge, or perhaps moving into a genre hungry for new authors willing to try new things, check out some of these books and publishers.

~Nara

If you want to know more about Nara, her books, or writing for interactive fiction, visit NaraMalone.com

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