I recently received an email that stated:
Greetings. I write an online episodic serial called “Cardinal Meadows. A Journey of faith in a new place.” I believe that I am the only one on the net doing something like this and it might be an inspiration for other writers wishing to do something similar. It is updated twice each week. Feel free to go to the site and see if it would be of some benefit to you and your members.
Basically, this author is writing a series of short stories that are linked together. He is putting them up on his blog for readers to read.
I applaud his marketing efforts in sending out emails to alert readers that he is offering these short stories on his blog. However, he is quite uninformed since he believes that he is the only one on the net doing something like this.
There are a lots of authors that are using the Internet to publish stories or to promote their publish works in a similar fashion. Here are just a few of the ways authors are doing this:
A Chapter a Day
This concept was developed prior to social media becoming popular. An author looking to engage more readers began offering his book as a chapter a day via email to anyone interested. Readers simply signed up on the author’s website and began receiving one chapter of the book each day via an auto-responder program. The goal of A Chapter a Day was to hook the reader so that eventually she could not wait for the next day for the next chapter and decided to purchase the entire book.
Blogging a Book
When blogging became popular, blogging a book was introduced as a way to generate readers. For published works, the concept was the same as for a chapter a day. Bloggers put small portions of their published book up on their blog in a consecutive fashion, again, hoping to engage readers who could not wait for the next installation to go up and purchase the book. Blogging a book also became a way for authors to write a story in short segments. Then when completed on the blog, these authors could publish their blook (a blogged book) into an ebook via several free services such as Zinepal or BookBlogger or to a print book with services such as Book2Print or Blurb. You can also find articles on the best way to blog a book on How to Blog a Book. There is even a book award giving to the best blooks each year called The Blooker Prize. The most famous blook is Julia & Julia which was even made into a movie.
Tweeting a Book
This is the newest concept of A Chapter a Day, but it is more like “a book 140 characters at a time.” The French Revolution by Matt Stewart was the first novel Tweeted on Twitter back in 2010. With Tweeting a book, authors publish their book over a series of days, tweeting every 10 to 15 minutes just 140 characters at a time to hook readers. Some write a separate book for Twitter and hope that the exposure and publicity will bring readers to purchase their other published works. Others begin Tweeting an existing published work in hopes of hooking readers who can’t wait for what happens next.
If you are looking to hook more readers for one of your works, you might want to consider trying one of these techniques. If you do, just know that you are not the first author to come up with the idea.