No sooner had I announced that the project I didn’t tell anyone about had reached novel length, than megafan Pizzamancer chimed up in the comments section, requesting a sample from the new book.
And I thought, yeah. He’s got a great point. Kind of a no brainer, really. After all, Andy Weir started out giving away The Martian on his website, chapter by chapter, until people began asking for a version to read on their Kindles. He did that, and the rest is history.
(Brief aside: read the book, see the movie. Both are great.)
This new book is written with commercial intentions, and the giveaway ploy worked for Weir, right? So why not?
Thinking this over, I decided I also wanted this to be fun for the people involved… so here’s what I’m going to do, hopefully with an interesting audience vs. author twist.
Starting tomorrow, and every Friday following, at 12 noon ET, I will post a chapter of the new novel right here on this very page. I will continue to do this every week until I finish the first draft of the novel. So you can root for me to finish the novel in a hurry so I can go through all that publishing rigmarole, or you can hope I get stalled out so you pretty much get the whole book for free (don’t hold your breath – next I’ll be writing chapter 29 out of a projected 54 chapters).
And yes, when I do this tomorrow I will also be revealing the actual title of the work, something I haven’t done in decades (sometime in the past I got superstitious about doing that, so this will be good for me).
I figure at this rate you’ll get four or five chapters out of the deal, and hopefully get so hooked that you’ll seek out and/or champion the book when it comes.
You up for this?
Here’s some basic rules (none of them too stringent):
- As an early reader, you understand that this is a rough draft and that what you see over the next few weeks may change – often drastically – before the actual publication (the early chapters of my novels are typically the most revised).
- You also understand that this will be published under a yet-to-be-determined pen name as this is not a typical JCF novel. The voice will be different, but the trademark humor will still be there. The trademark suspense may or may not. Depends. It’s a different brand name.
- I am not making any kind of secret that this is a pseudonuymous novel, so blackmail is off the table.
- Feel free to ask questions or challenge me over literary idiocy or generally discuss things in the comments. I do hold approval rights, but I approve pretty much every comment unless you’re trying to sell my readers Viagra. I also tend to respond to comments, so expect some back-and-forth.
- Have fun at all times. Notice I didn’t say “enjoy”.
- Try not to chuckle too hard when you hear the ice cracking under my feet.
Now the question is – am I up for this? I tend to be secretive about this kind of thing, so this is a first for me. We’ll see how it goes. If it goes well, I may repeat the process with that monster that is the UFO Novel (but no promises).
The experiment begins mere hours from now…