25 February 2006

An Interesting Approach To Getting Published

Diane Duane has decided to publish the third book in her Feline Wizards trilogy bit by bit—online and as reader payments warrant. The Big Meow (and isn't that a screamingly funny title?) is something she's been wanting to write for a while now, she says. Duane explains that although she had a complete outline for the book, "the publisher hadn't been interested in bringing out the third volume because of relatively low sales figures on the first two: so that book would probably not be written." Via her blog, Duane asked her fans to indicate how interested they were in seeing the final book. She thought that if there was enough interest, she'd publish it through a Print On Demand service. The result was striking, but she still didn't see that she could feasibly make enough to cover the costs and give her a profit. She decided to follow Lawrence Watt-Evans' model--what he calls writing on the installment plan. Duane too decided to publish each chapter online and ask for reader donations. When she has received enough for each chapter (amount per chapter to be determined) she will write the next one. She says "I am not committing myself to complete this project if the reader response is inadequate. Each time a chapter is posted, the ball is back in all of your courts." When the project is finished, "those who've subscribed to all ten installments (that's how the book is structured at the moment, in ten chapters) will be getting a "hard copy" paperback produced via Lulu.com. Others who haven't subscribed, or have subscribed only to part of the run, will be free to purchase the book at Lulu, in whatever quantities they desire. All subscribers, whether they paid for the whole run or only part of it, will be acknowledged for their contributions in all subsequent printed versions of the book (who knows, perhaps some day a publisher will step up to the plate)." She's hoping to finish the book in six months—by the end of August 2006. For complete details of this story, see her lengthy blog post here. It will be interesting to keep an eye on this project as it develops. I had never heard of Diane Duane before this story, but now I will check out the first two books in the trilogy (The Book of the Night With Moon and On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service/To Visit the Queen). Via Boing Boing.

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