By now, those of you who follow such things have heard at least some of the rumblings prompted by the news regarding the forthcoming Blu-ray release of Star Trek Into Darkness, and that the strategy for selling this title entails a variety of different “versions,” each featuring unique bonus content depending on your retailer of choice.
Best Buy and Target will have their own “exclusive editions” of the title, for example, each with bonus features not available on the other store’s version. Those who opt to purchase the film in a digital-only format will be treated to yet another subset of features exclusive to that medium. Those of you purchasing the traditional DVD are just hoping the thing is offered in a true anamorphic widescreen format, and will be thrilled if the marketing copy on the back of the case doesn’t list “Chapter Breaks” as a special feature.
VHS and LaserDisc hold outs? I got nuthin’ for ya.
What? All this is news to you? Well, then: allow me to direct you to one particularly scathing review of the situation with the upcoming release, along with a pretty unforgiving additional commentary/rant, courtesy of Bill Hunt over at the venerable Digital Bits:
I mean…someone somewhere was sitting in a meeting, and somehow convinced everyone else in the room this was the greatest idea EVAH.
Yeah. Not so much, methinks.
Anyway, hardcore home theater enthusiasts are decrying the shameless money grab and its expectations that fans simply will drop coin on multiple editions of the same film in order to secure the full package of bonus features, aka “value added content,” which is–or at least it used to be–a selling point of the disc itself. Plus, Blu-rays are supposed to be the premiere format for devoted film collectors and addicts. The notion of having to endure a scavenger hunt in order to obtain everything is rather off-putting.
Or, maybe it isn’t……..?
With this in mind, I’d like to take this opportunity to announce the bold, exciting retail strategy I’m formulating to accompany my next novel, inspired as it is by the Star Trek Into Darkness Blu-ray Delivery Model.
Most of you know my next novel will be published on December 31st. The book will feature different bonus chapters and endings, depending on whether you buy the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, any of 13 individual independent book sellers scattered all over the world, or eBay.
Yes, the endings will be different if you opt for the physical book (hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, and/or Braille edition), e-Book, audiobook, graphic novel adaptation, and/or special limited Twitter-fied edition.
Additional scenes and other information will be inserted into fortune cookies at participating Chinese restaurants. It’s possible we may also secure a deal with Taco Bell to print a serialized version of Chapter 22 on the little packets of taco sauce (mild flavor only, of course).
Customers of the iTunes service can look forward to receiving an exclusive behind-the-scenes audio track bundled with their edition of the e-Book, recorded during the writing of the novel and featuring my wife yelling at me to clean out the cat’s litter box and me begging her to just let me finish the chapter I’m working on. As a cross-promotional push with Taco Bell, this indeed will be the aforementioned Chapter 22, but a different version than the one featured on the taco sauce packets.
Finally, there will be a super special bonus version of the book with a completely different ending–along with a subplot written exclusively for this edition–available from a hidden page on my website, but only at random intervals in tandem with the lunar cycle and reruns of The Shawshank Redemption on AMC.
Did I mention there also will be cover variants? That’s right! You can expect several different covers to accompany the novel, featuring the artistic talents of Doug Drexler, Alex Ross, Berkeley Breathed, Rob Liefeld, Picasso, and my five-year old daughter. She’s been working on hers for weeks in her Kindergarten art class, and this variant is being reserved as a special retailer incentive, so be sure to order early and often.
Full details on the release strategy will be forthcoming, but for now feel free to leave any questions in the comments section. Answers to your queries will be randomly distributed among the different versions of the book when it goes on sale in December.