One of the world’s best-selling authors is experimenting with a new form of digital-first storytelling.
James Patterson has partnered with Facebook to release his latest novel,‘The Chef’, on its messaging app. The thriller has been available to read on Facebook Messenger since Tuesday and will make its print debut in February. Interested readers just have to send a message to “The Chef by James Patterson” on Messenger to get started with the immersive reading experience.
Facebook Messenger counts 1.3 billion monthly users. Patterson, known for the Alex Cross series, ‘The President is Missing,’ ‘Witch & Wizard,’ and others, has sold some 375 million books worldwide.
The story follows Caleb Rooney, a New Orleans police detective by day and food truck chef by night that’s been accused of murder. The short novel is formatted like a series of text messages, with video, audio, photos and documents interspersed. Rooney and the book’s other leading characters have Instagram accounts for fans to interact with.
The novel’s social media play taps into the new generation of content consumers — those accustomed to layered, multi-media experiences.
Patterson told Cheddar he considers the project a “bookie,” or a book meets a movie. The author is no stranger to innovative experiments, he’s previously released a line of super-short, $4 books and was an early pioneer of e-books.
“It’s so important to me that books … keep up — that they enter the modern age,” Patterson said.