Like me, maybe you're not big into Japanese literature other than some graphic novels. When I read this story, I had no idea who Ryu Murakami was until I read that his list of works includes Audition. Audition, in case you don't know, was adapted to film by Takashi Miike; it's one of the most uncomfortable and graphic horror movies that I've ever seen, ... but I digress.
Murakami's latest work, titled A Singing Whale, is set to make its debut solely on the iPad; it will involve no other publishers at all. It will appear on the Japanese App Store at around US $17, and thirty percent of that purchase price will go to Apple. The rest will go to Murakami, composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, and the software company that is making the book.
You may be asking why a composer is included in this list. This deal isn't about Murakami sticking it to publishers (or, at least, it's not all about that). Like a few of the other titles that we've already seen on the App Store (like Alice in Wonderland, for example), this title will have a multimedia aspect to it. So, it's not necessarily something that could even work with traditional publication.
I just hope that A Singing Whale isn't in the same vein as Audition, or that multimedia experience will be very, very nightmare inducing. Just thinking about it makes my Achilles tendon hurt.