Books Leaking Out of the Screen: Engaging with Books on Screen Through Replicas

Tonguc Ibrahim Sezen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Since the early days of media licensing, toys and collectables based on on-screen props have been part of transmedia franchises. While accessories, weapons, and costumes constituted most of such products, physical and sometimes digital replicas of books on-screen were also released. Some of these books were featured heavily on-screen and their replicas were meant to fulfil similar functions as their filmic counterparts. The 1994 book Baby's Day Out for example, was a replica of a fictional children’s book featured in the film with the same name and could be read independently from the film. Others acted as indexical transmedia components moving the story of a film forward by revealing new details, such as the 2018 book David’s Drawings, which content was briefly seen in Alien Covenant (2017). Besides these official publications, fans also produced replicas of books on-screen after painstaking design archaeological research. Examples of such fan publications include The Grail Diary from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Advanced Potion Making from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009).

Providing new ways of exploring and engaging with on-screen realities, replica books are previously inaccessible diegetic documents disclosed by becoming transmedia paratexts. They can be complete and comprehensive texts extending fictional worlds, or be facades inviting fans to speculate and create their own versions. Entailing the pseudo-factual aura of being authentic documents originating from fictional worlds, replica books offer new ways to study books on screen off-screen. This paper will explore the evolution of replica books through examples and discuss how they present and extend on-screen fictional worlds, which functions they fulfil withing media franchises, and how they intersect with fan practices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2021
EventBooks on Screen: A Virtual Symposium 2021
- Online, University of Leeds and Anglia Ruskin University, Leeds, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Nov 20213 Nov 2021


ConferenceBooks on Screen: A Virtual Symposium 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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