In Dreams Awake

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

(Henry David Thoreau)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

One at a Time

  I've been wondering. In this e-book age, why are we still writing novels the same way?

  We could publish one chapter at a time if we wanted to, and price each at ten pence. Or ten thousand words at a time, and twenty pence. When the story adds up to 80,000 words we could package it all together, stick a cover on and call it volume one, and publish it as a print copy.

  I got to thinking about this with a future book of mine, The Blessed Land, which is about 190,000 words long. I rewrote it into two volumes, but I thought; why not three? Or four, and give the first one away free as an e-book, to draw readers in? Why not do that as my standard approach, with Blessed Land and everything else too?

  People may already have done this, for all I know. But if so I haven't heard of it, and I'm not honestly sure if it would work anyway. Maybe oui, maybe non. It's just that we ought at least to be experimenting, trying new things, now publishing is so different to how it's ever been before. Though having said that, what I'm suggesting isn't so different from 19th century publishing, when Dickens and Collins et al published their novels as serials in newspapers. There really isn't much that's new under the sun, eh?

  Anyhow, that's what I'm pondering at the moment. Blessed Land would fit a four-part series well, with the first free, and in future I might write with that in mind. Divide the novel differently. Or perhaps there are other, better ideas, things I haven't thought of. If any occur be sure to let me know, won't you?