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Tied In: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing Paperback – July 30, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"If this is the Golden Age of anything in the popular fiction field, it may be the tie-in novel...fans and scholars will enjoy the inside-the-business stuff." --Mystery Scene Magazine

I say this without a whit of exaggeration TIED-IN is the most fascinating, entertaining and honest book about the writing life I've ever read.. --Ed Gorman

TIED IN is a fascinating exploration of the media tie-in business --Television Obscurities

 I was genuinely surprised at how much fun I had reading this book, and I'm sure most of you would like it, too --Bill Crider, bestselling author of "Outrage at Blanco"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453716106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453716106
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,395,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Tied In: The Business, History and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing" features entertaining, informative essays by writers who regularly produce media tie-in books... you know, those books (often paperbacks, but increasingly appearing in hardback form, too) that adapt blockbuster movies and fan-favorite television series, as well as present original stories featuring the characters from those sources. I used to read a lot of these in my high school and college days, and- recognizing that a good book can come from anywhere- still pick one up here and there.

The contributing writers discuss the fun and challenge of producung these works, and their various approaches to the job. Some, for example, have great respect for a character's dialogue as conceived for the original movie or TV show they're adapting, and don't change it in their written version (aside from adding new dialogue to get their tale up to proper book length). Others happily change dialogue at will, believing that the visual and literary mediums have different needs, and what sounds good in a movie might not work in a book. All very interesting stuff.

There seems to be one area of agreement among the writers, however: that those working in the tie-in arena should have a passion for their material but not be outright in love with it. This is because the characters being written about- whether they're from "Star Trek", "CSI", "Bones", "Star Wars", "Murder, She Wrote", or any of the many other entertainment properties that regularly generate tie-in books- don't belong to the writer producing the tie-in book, and the publisher and licensor (usually a studio) can weigh in at will and make the writer change things. And usually do.
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Format: Paperback
There's a lot that people don't know about tie-in writing. They don't know that it's not simply fan-fiction with authorization and better distribution. They don't know how it gets written, who writes it, what the deadlines are, what the limitations and expectations are, what the economics are for the publishers, writers, and tie-in rights providers, and how complicated it can be to fashion a good piece of fiction to a specific wordcount with sometimes multiple levels of non-writers not only looking over your shoulder, but sometimes tossing out whole pages and chapters. They don't understand the talent required of such writers and the sacrifices made by them in pursuing this niche, often along with other writing projects involving worlds of their own.

Rather than explain all of this in boring textbook style, Tied-In presents a series of essays by professional tie-in writers, describing their own experiences, frustrations, victories, and war-stories illustrating a variety of these central topics, while all along providing a bunch of interesting history about a lot of projects and media properties that give you a real insider's feel for how it is to work with Hollywood, game companies, comic book publishers, and others movers and shakers in the world of entertainment today. I promise that you will learn surprising tidbits that you won't be able to wait to tell your friends.

As an occasional tie-in writer (Dragonlance/Transformers) and member of the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (though not a contributor to this project), I'm happy to say that I found the essays both enjoyable and instructive--easily well worth the price.

If you know someone who wants to write tie-in material, you need to get them this book. And if you ever read tie-in material about your favorite shows or movies, you'll want to read this book, yourself.

Donald J. Bingle
Writer on Demand TM
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Format: Paperback
Since I enjoy tie-in novels, I jumped at a chance to get a review copy of this collection of essays that attempt to explain just how these books come to be. And I found it just as fascinating as I thought I would.

Over the course of 19 chapters, we get a good feel for how the business works. Since many of the authors are telling their own stories, we get some repetition. But that also helps reinforce the point that writing tie-ins is hard work. But it is also a labor of love. I get the feeling that the authors contributing here love doing it, struggles and all.

We get a look at every kind of tie-in imaginable. There are the books based on TV series, as covered by Donald Bain (author of the Murder, She Wrote books), Tod Goldberg, and William Rabkin. Max Allen Collins discusses his two most frustrating novelizations of movies. Is writing for a YA crowd harder or easier? You'll get the answer from Aaron Rosenberg. Writing a novel based on an entire season of episodes, novels based on comic books, and writing novels set between movies are all discussed. Heck, I wasn't aware that some canceled soap operas have continued on-line, but now I know all about that.

My respect for tie-in writers has really grown as a result of reading this book. One of the repeated facts is their short deadline. We're talking weeks to complete a book. And that's with multiple people telling them how the book should be written. This isn't easy work.

Since there are so many different authors, the writing style varies. Most of the essays are conversational, but a couple get more scholarly in tone. Even then, I found the writing readable.
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