Level 26 - Dark ProphecyEven CSI creator Anthony Zuiker knows he can’t ignore YouTube these days. With pre-orders just starting for the second novel in his Level 26 trilogy, he’s trying something different this time around with respect to those innovative little “cyber-bridges” that thread together the printed pages with live-action video. Instead of making the short-form video segments exclusive content that only those that buy the physical book can unlock, this time they are free for the world on YouTube starting today with Part 1 (above) of Dark Prophecy, “The Reading/Hanged Man.”

Last fall for the first chapter in the ‘digi-novel’ trilogy of of Steve Dark (Daniel Buran) and his hunt to find the world’s most gruesome serial killer ever seen, a so-called ‘Level 26 killer’ known only as Sqweegel, Zuiker included a special code at the end of certain chapters that sent readers to the Level26.com site to actually watch the scripted video interludes. Fans did end up posting the codes online for those that didn’t buy the book, but the lack of any widescale distribution was noticeable.

Now Zuiker looks to continue tweaking the digi-novel as a viable strategy for publishers like Dutton who is releasing the book series,
Zuiker, by the way, even filed for a US trademark on the ‘digi-novel’ term. Smartly, he’s also using the mega-hit TV franchise CSI to further introduce would-be fans to the latex-contortionist killer Sqweegel on the October 14th episode of CSI.

“That’s right!,” wrote Zuiker today, “We’re giving you the cyber-bridges to watch a la a web series.”

One new episode of said web series will be posted each day through October 14th, the same day of the CSI episode and conveniently, the day the Dark Prophecy book hits shelves. Talk about a multiplatform launch.

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