SHUFFLE, an e-novel that can be read in any order, with seven possible beginnings and seven possible endings has been awarded Digital Book World’s prestigious Publishing Innovation Award in fiction for its creativity and state-of-the-art technology.

The international award’s judges dubbed the e-novel as ‘an imaginative, entertaining thriller that engages the reader as an integral part of the storytelling process,’ honours the world’s most innovative and enhanced eBooks and book apps in 14 categories. 

Shuffle’s seven stories are interlinked through song choices, each one inspired by musical legends David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Joy Division, Martha & The Vandellas, Frank Sinatra and classical composer, Gustav Holst. At the end of every story readers can click on an iPod graphic to decide the chapter they’d like to read next.

Author and creator of the concept Chris Rickaby said: “Shuffle does for reading what digital music players do for music.

“I wanted to develop something that was designed as an e-novel from the beginning and came up with the idea of writing a novel structured around the shuffle mechanism of an iPod, whereby the reader can make choices as they navigate content.”

Rickaby, who writes under the pen-name James T. Raydel, enlisted Vook, a New York-based digital publishing company to develop Shuffle.

Vook’s Jeffrey Yozwiak said: “Shuffle could only be conceived within the e-publishing space, Kudos to Chris for having such a vision. This is only the beginning of authors creating robust, eBook-first experiences.”

Shuffle, which is published in the UK by Tonto Books, is part of Lulzlit – a wider innovative transmedia project which also received a PIA nomination. Lulzlit features an entire cross-platform fictional provenance for the pen-name James T. Raydel and is supported by a team of digital-savvy writers who tweet as a fictional collective on Twitter.

Chris said: “The idea behind Lulzlit was to create a true transmedia story world which layered immersive fiction across multiple platforms.”

”We’ve created a literary layer cake. The reader shuffles, as the cream, the Lulzlit site as the cake, and the activities of its seven writers on Twitter as the jam. The reader can engage with any of these content strands, each designed to stand alone while stimulating interest in the others.”

Shuffle: an e-novel, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBookstore, and Vook’s store.