Two interesting Publisher’s Weekly articles about the tie-in business — "Where
the Fans Are: New formats broaden the base for tie-ins" and "Breaking Out of the Box: Original novels
based on popular TV series are finding a ready market" — are now up on
the IAMTW site. The articles
are from 2003, but are still relevant today.
"DVD has changed the landscape because fans can go back for what they missed,"
concurred Hope Innelli, v-p and editorial director of HarperEntertainment.
"Tie-in books, therefore, have to serve a different purpose."
these books keep fans happy by shedding more light on the characters, filling in
plot gaps or turning back the clock. For example, the lightning pace and
Washington insider backdrop of the Fox series 24 left a lot of unanswered
questions at the end of last year’s premiere season. "We created a backstory in
conjunction with the writers that explains how key characters got there in the
first place and reveals why the revenge plot unfolded. That’s just not on the
show," said Innelli.
Original novels can also exist in entirely
different time frames, taking the audience to places the shows can’t go…
…To some extent, the mushrooming of prime-time shows that run concurrently with
syndicated reruns, along with the rise of DVD series collections, have already
conditioned viewers to operate in parallel timeframes. Law & Order, for
example, regularly shuffles its cast, though everyone shows up on cable reruns.
"Readers are savvy enough to recognize that the books have their own
continuity," said Clancy.