4th Story Media Partners with HarperCollins Publishers for Its First Venture: The Amanda Project, an Interactive, Collaborative Digital Mystery

Jun 18, 2008, 01:00 ET from HarperCollins Publishers

    NEW YORK, June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- 4th Story Media and HarperCollins
 Publishers today announced their partnership in The Amanda Project, the
 first multi-platform series to be written in part by its audience, girls
 ages 12-14. 4th Story Media, which owns all rights for the property, will
 produce the content for The Amanda Project with a creative team including
 web design agency Happy Cog, young adult authors, artists and graphic
 designers. HarperCollins Publishers, which is a strategic partner in the
 venture and an investor, has acquired the rights to publish an eight-book
 The Amanda Project series worldwide.
     "It feels like the art and craft of publishing great stories for
 children is on the brink of revolutionary change," said Lisa Holton,
 founder and CEO, 4th Story Media. "We are exploring new ways of using the
 web to tell stories, while also leading kids back to the joys of reading.
 By combining talented authors with creative web designers we are fusing
 traditional storytelling with the interactive world of social networking,
 online games, and user-generated content. We are thrilled to introduce 4th
 Story Media with the launch of The Amanda Project and are delighted to be
 partnering with the exceptional team at HarperCollins to bring this series
 to life."
     "HarperCollins is very pleased to join forces with 4th Story Media on
 its first multi-platform series," said Susan Katz, President and Publisher,
 HarperCollins Children's Books. "Book publishing is increasingly digital in
 nature and HarperCollins Children's, as a leader of innovative publishing,
 understands and embraces initiatives that engage readers in exciting new
 ways. The traditional book/web connection is evolving every day, and The
 Amanda Project takes it one step further by allowing readers to not only
 discuss the story but help create it as well."
     Amanda Valentino is the elusive, charismatic, and alluring new girl at
 Evansville Township High School who arrives mid-year, leaves abruptly, and
 indelibly changes the lives of everyone around her in the process. Her
 story will be told across a variety of media in addition to the books -- a
 social website where readers can interact with and become characters in the
 mystery, a related series of blogs chronicling the story as it unfolds,
 clues and seed posts on satellite sites, downloadable music and official
 and user-generated merchandise. Amanda's fate will begin to unfold across
 the web during the fall of 2008, through the launch of the T.A.P. website
 in early 2009, and continue into the publication of the first book in Fall
     The Amanda Project includes:
     Book Series: The eight-book series is a mix of stories and theories
 created by the authors and supplemented by the best of the
 readers'/writers' theories.
     T.A.P. Website: The website is an interactive forum and gallery for all
 things Amanda. Readers are invited to log in as themselves, or take on the
 identity of any number of the fictional characters (classmates, teachers,
 principals, and neighbors) that inhabit Amanda's world. The T.A.P.
 community will post testimonials, investigate theories, analyze facts,
 events, clues and artifacts, collect evidence and testimony, and muse on
 who Amanda was and is.
     Games, Uploads, Community: Readers can create their own T.A.P. page and
 clue closet, discover alliances, customize their avatar, dress the
 chameleon-like Amanda, upload drawings and character portraits, enter a
 video clue contest, and join a moderated forum.
     Online and Retail Merchandise: Fans can create customized Amanda
 Valentino gear -- t-shirts, buttons, charms, notebooks, stationery, e-cards
 -- to show their alliances and suspicions, and character identities.
     About 4th Story Media
     4th Story Media was founded in 2007 by Lisa Holton, a children's
 publishing veteran and multimedia entrepreneur, who was most recently
 President of Scholastic Trade and Book Fairs. It is a privately held
 company whose lead equity partner is filmmaker and philanthropist Abigail
 Disney. Disney recently produced the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell,
 which won best feature-length documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival.
 Holton is also joined by Lorraine Shanley, a principal in Market Partners
 International, who is an equity advisor to the company. The company's
 mission is to explore the continuing fusion between online and print media
 by developing projects -- based on original as well as existing
 intellectual property -- in which the narrative unfolds across a variety of
 media formats. There are currently several other projects in development.
 For more information email info@fourthstorymedia.com.
     About HarperCollins Children's Books
     HarperCollins Children's Books is one of the leading publishers of
 children's books. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing
 quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to
 many timeless treasures -- Charlotte's Web, The Chronicles of Narnia,
 Goodnight Moon, Where the Sidewalk Ends and Where the Wild Things Are; and
 popular new classics -- A Series of Unfortunate Events, Warriors and Fancy
 Nancy. HarperCollins Children's Books is a division of HarperCollins
 Publishers, one of the leading English language publishers in the world and
 a subsidiary of News Corporation (NYSE:   NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NCP, NCPDP).
 Headquartered in New York, HarperCollins has publishing groups in the U.S.,
 Canada, the U.K. and Australasia. You can visit HarperCollins Children's
 Books at www.harpercollinschildrens.com and HarperCollins Publishers at

SOURCE HarperCollins Publishers