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brainstorm77
08-16-2006, 07:41 PM
I have heard that some authors have created websites for their novels ... I don't mean that it was just for promotion but rather they had a site where the novel could be read openly. In turn they were picked up by publishers. What would be a good web service to go with?

Medievalist
08-16-2006, 07:53 PM
That's not going to work; and I don't think it ever has. Some authors have published e-books, with one of several respected e-book publishers, usually in a genre niche like SF or erotica, and then picked up by a trade publisher.

But putting your whole book on a Web site means you've used up first publication rights, and most publishers won't touch you.

Honestly, there is no short cut. Write, revise, write, revise, revise revise.

Send out queries.

Revise. Start another book. Send out more queries . . .

PVish
08-17-2006, 04:02 AM
At the VA Festival of the Book a few years ago, I heard a panelist (sorry, can't remember which one) tell about authors of already-published books putting the book on-line as a ploy to sell hard copies. The idea was that a reader would get tired of reading it off the screen and would want a hard copy. This idea was to appeal to readers, though, not publishers.

Medievalist
08-17-2006, 04:25 AM
At the VA Festival of the Book a few years ago, I heard a panelist (sorry, can't remember which one) tell about authors of already-published books putting the book on-line as a ploy to sell hard copies. The idea was that a reader would get tired of reading it off the screen and would want a hard copy. This idea was to appeal to readers, though, not publishers.

That works; see for example the work of SF writer Cory Doctorow

Richard White
08-17-2006, 05:49 AM
There are a group of authors who've done Podcasts of their books. They do abridged versions of their stories and then post them at Podiobooks.com. The authors range from new people getting started with small presses to Tracy and Laura Hickman (You know, the DragonLance guy).

Some authors post their books a chapter at a time (sort of like getting an old serial at the movies), while others do all their production work and post them all at once.

It's an interesting experiment and I'll be curious to see how it does.

(Disclaimer: I do know the guys who started Podiobooks, but don't have anything there myself.)

brainstorm77
08-19-2006, 07:45 PM
It did work for David Wellington!

shirah
08-19-2006, 10:19 PM
I've seen some author sites that offer several chapters online, or a downloadable excerpt. I've seen very few that had the entire book on their site. I'm not sure which have/have not been picked up by publishers. Personally, I use just excerpts on my site, but then my site is geared towards luring readers into actually buying my book rather than towards publishers :)

dclary
09-01-2006, 06:24 PM
Not only that but you've just given away your intellectual property for free, and if it gets cached anywhere... it's free forever, whether you hunt down every pirate who copies it til the end of time or not.

The only time you put your entire WIP online, for free, is when it's a dead horse, just polluting the water supply.
\

brainstorm77
09-05-2006, 07:27 PM
Not only that but you've just given away your intellectual property for free, and if it gets cached anywhere... it's free forever, whether you hunt down every pirate who copies it til the end of time or not.

The only time you put your entire WIP online, for free, is when it's a dead horse, just polluting the water supply.
\

Mmmmm it worked for David Wellington..... ?

Anthony Ravenscroft
09-06-2006, 12:50 AM
That works; see for example the work of SF writer Cory Doctorow
Not really a great example. CD has been an award-winning novelist & was co-founder of a zine called Boing Boing that went online & became widely read. CD has a huge fan-base from which to draw.

So, if someone's got a similar platform, they certainly ought to tell their publicist to set up the site.

But that's about as far as an analogy can be accurately drawn.

For someone who's not at all published or who doesn't already have some bits of a nascent platform (public presentations, workshops, classes, a writer's group, anything), setting up a website is kinda like repainting your wagon while your horse starves to death.

When someone's at least got a completed manuscript they're shopping (or one published story & a dozen in the hopper), then a website starts to make sense.

Medievalist
09-06-2006, 01:13 AM
Not really a great example. CD has been an award-winning novelist & was co-founder of a zine called Boing Boing that went online & became widely read. CD has a huge fan-base from which to draw.

The question was one of whether providing a free digital version of a consumer published book would drive sales; according to both Cory and Patrick Nielsen Hayden that in fact did happen.

Cory was known for Boing Boing at the time Tor agreed to put Cory's first novel, Down and Out online for free (2003), but hadn't won major awards, unless you count time at Clarion.

Yes, it does make a difference that Cory is well connected, but he's not unique in that respect among his generation of speculative fiction writers.

The key is writing a good enough book that people will want a bound copy; and that is not an easy thing to do.

PODLINGMASTER
09-06-2006, 02:22 AM
That's not going to work; and I don't think it ever has. Some authors have published e-books, with one of several respected e-book publishers, usually in a genre niche like SF or erotica, and then picked up by a trade publisher.

But putting your whole book on a Web site means you've used up first publication rights, and most publishers won't touch you.

Honestly, there is no short cut. Write, revise, write, revise, revise revise.

Send out queries.

Revise. Start another book. Send out more queries . . .

I agree with medievalist. Please don't try to get published by giving your work away to everyone.

Bad, Bad, Bad,---no, no, no. (slap on hand)

Podlingmaster

acousticgroupie
09-12-2006, 09:31 PM
i may offer the first chapter or the introduction or something...my book site is below.

jchines
09-12-2006, 10:41 PM
There are rare occasions when this has happened. I believe John Scalzi is another example. (Of course, John went into the game with some impressive writing credentials and great web traffic.)

Likewise, we can also point to a few self-publishing success stories, one or two of which might even be true.

That doesn't mean it's an approach that would work for the vast majority of us. As a general rule, editors don't have the time or the need to go surfing the web, looking for authors. Authors come to editors. (Insert "agents" for "editors" and the sentence remains true.)

Are there exceptions? Yup. But you're also publishing your work, which gives away first rights. And you're far more likely to draw in scam agents or PA-type editors than you are to hook a legitimate editor.

Whether or not a free electronic edition helps once the book has been purchased and published is a separate issue. Baen Books has been releasing free e-book versions of their books online, and claims this improves sales. And many authors will make excerpts or a few chapters available online for free. But again, this is a marketing technique for published novels, not for unpublished books in search of a home.

Glynn
10-26-2006, 11:45 PM
Since I can create and maintain my own web sites, I have two specifically for my writing: one (see link in my signature below) is for all my writing, including novels, sermons, essays, and other stuff. I have the whole text for everything except novels, where I offer a synopsis of each, a purchase link to Amazon.com and the ability to download sample chapters in three different WP formats: MSWord, WordPerfect, and Rich Text Format. I get some--but not a lot--of traffic for downloading chapters, but not many sales that way that I know of. Since I use amazon Associates, I can keep track of any orders from my web site, but I don't get many sales, but even one every once in a while is worth more than it costs.

My second site (http://www.arisebeloved.com) is specifically for my new novel where I offer a synopsis and sample chapters.

I also have a book review blog with a sales link to Amazon.com for the books I review. (See blog link below.)

The main purpose of my sites, besides providing a link to Amazon.com for sales, is (hopefully) to build "name recognition" for me as a writer, which is a long-term project at best, but certainly every serious writer ought to have a personal web site for self-promotion. It's as necessary as having an email address.

WolfgangNibori
03-22-2008, 03:33 PM
So, nearly two years later... I'm left wondering what the status is on these "novels published on the web" is... exactly. Can anyone let me know how this sort of thing goes? I hesitate to exile myself from the "publishing establishment" but at the same time, I've never been one to shy away from the quote untried unquote.. yanno?