Coolest thing since cupcakes

One of the devotion of Snarklings offers up this enticing morsel for Miss Snark's delicate maw

Fantasy writer Lawrence Watt-Evans releases new novel on web in installment plan .
Read the page to see how he did it and why.

I think this is the coolest idea since cupcakes. This is a great way to bypass the ever increasing sales requirement at big publishers AND bypass the problems of self publishing in paper.

His analogy of a street musician is quite apt for us New Yorkers. If you suck, you starve. If you really suck of course, people pay you to stop playing.

I'd be very interested to see if this system works for lesser-established writers and how soon some nitwit is going to demand an accountant review the books.

Thanks HC, this was great.


Darby said...

tip: acquire fans who are millionares.

James Goodman said...

Ah, man...why didn't I think of that? I posted my last novel at two chapters per week over the course of the year and I did it for free.

This is just like the day that I found out what a gigolo was. Of course, at this stage in my writing career, if I tried to get paid for posting my chapters, I would probably have about as much luck as I did trying to become a stud for hire. Apparently, you have to be at least moderately charming to pursue such a career.

Christine said...

I saw James Patrick Kelly last weekend at Philcon. He's doing his latest book (I think it's called Burn) in a series of podcasts. One chapter a week. Theory is that by the time you get to chapter 10, you'll be so frustrated to get to the end you'll run out and buy the book. Interesting theory. Like to see if it really sells more books.

emeraldcite said...

I saw this the other day. I was impressed and wish him the best of luck.

Maria said...

Orson Scott Card is doing something similar over at his new online mag Intergalatic Medicine Show. He posted installments of one of his out-of-print novels every two weeks until the whole thing was posted. You get to read the entire novel online for the price of one magazine ($2.50). He is also doing a graphic novel online in the same manner. I don't know if the whole thing will end up in "one" magazine because the installments are still coming out, but it's the same basic idea.

The only thing I don't like about it is that I tend to sit and read something in one or two sittings at most. It has to be pretty compelling to bring me back every two weeks. On the plus side, Card put out long enough sequences--and didn't charge for every single installment. As a purchaser of the "issue" it was nice to receive an email letting me know a new installment was out there, or new content. So my "magazine" kept updating.

It's supposed to be a quarterly magazine--you buy an issue for 2.50 and keept getting content for 3 months--at least that is the way this first issue has worked out. BTW it's not just Card stories. There were a lot of other author's short stories in there, reviews, commentary etc.

Harry Connolly said...

My pleasure.

Saundra Mitchell said...

An example of the unknown making good for theyselves this way: John Scalzi got his first book deal after publishing his first novel online with a tip jar. Then he sold the online novel. Now he has a six zillion book deal with Tor. Also, Cherie Priest originially published her first novel, "Four and Twenty Blackbirds," on her Livejournal.

It's probably not the wave of the future, but it definitely seems to work for some SF/Fantasy authors.

The Green Cedar said...

"Devotion of snarklings..."

Like a "gaggle of geese" or a "murder of crows"?

Hope so -- I like it.

Devotedly yrs,

Ballpoint Wren said...

Didn't Stephen King try this? I seem to remember the line, "no stealing from the blind boy!"

I just looked it up. In 2000, Salon's Janelle Brown thought the idea was horrifying.

Gretchen, see here.