1. OurNeverEndingStory
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    OurNeverEndingStory New Member

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    Question....in regards to the "publication" thread above and potential monetization.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by OurNeverEndingStory, Jun 21, 2011.

    So I was driving down the road a few months ago when suddenly a very specific plot line jumped out at me and I began taking notes and putting them on my Iphone at every red light that I stopped at.

    In addition to the Story idea, also came the concept of creating a "live/interactive" blog format for a twist on the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books that many of us undoubtedly read as children.

    I have a few key points below that I'd like to point out, and or simply share my thought process, and see what all of you thought. Any veteran advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. I'm a brand new "creative writer", in that I've written before many times and had hundreds of readers for more "serious stuff", I have never attempted to flesh out fictional characters and create a full blown novel based on pure fiction. So this is a first, and I'm starting the story off fairly vague with only basic character description, because I really don't want my reader to really know "what's going on" just yet.

    2. I do wish to make money off of my project but is putting my writing on a blog killing my chances of that? I was intending to use advertisements, Google Adsense, etc on the blog as readership and traffic increased. If it ever became popular enough then possible merchandising, sponsored ads etc.....and my thoughts were that if the traffic/readers never came, then trying to find a publisher would be a waste anyhow.....is this flawed thinking?

    3. It never occurred to me to write the entire novel, because this was something I planned to update every Monday with a new "Part" based on the votes and replies in the comments. It was my concept to create a veritable "never ending story" that my readers actively got to participate in online and cast their votes how the story should play out. Do you think this is a viable concept? If so what would you add to the current set up? (besides Ads which will come later)? Do I need instructions telling a "latecomer reader" that they need to start on Chapter 1 and catch up? or is that something that is just assumed and obvious. Do I need instructions on how to fill out a comment?

    4. If the concept ended up very popular and my story was well embraced........because it's on my blog...(even if I put the little Copyright thing on it)......are the chances of let's say "Hollywood" picking it up as a movie eliminated because it's published on the internet? Or would I still have full rights, and since I'm the only person who knows how the story goes from any given week to the next, am I safe in that arena?

    Obviously, I have no idea if this will take off or not, but I do know that if it is well received and gains a following of readers on a weekly/daily basis, that I would like to monetize it.

    Your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, questions will all be well received.

    Thank you,

    Never
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Putting the entire novel on a blog would most likely kill chances with a book publisher. However, putting small excerpts of your book and explanations of what it's about (but not spoilers!) could encourage people to buy the book.

    As far as having readers vote on what happens, I think that'd be a great idea...but, as mentioned above, you won't be able to both put it all online for free AND publish it traditionally. I'd say you're in a position to choose one of the two methods:

    1. Keep it all online: use this as an exposure and marketing technique, in other words, you don't get paid, but the people who like your blog work will be likely to buy your other books, so it gets your name out there (plus it's fun)

    2. Only post very limited amounts (i.e. less than a page worth) online, and go with a traditional publishing route. Use the method used by the Goosebumps choose-your-own books: "turn to page 20 if you want Joe to open the door, turn to page 30 if you want him to run away." it's still choose-your-own, but there's less two-way dialogue between you and readers. but you get paid.

    you can succeed either way. good luck! and congrats on your first novel development. :)
     
  3. OurNeverEndingStory
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    OurNeverEndingStory New Member

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    Thank you Mallory!

    I think I will choose option 1 and have all of it online both for the exposure, advertising, media, reader building etc. Since the story will literally never end, then, each week if I'm adding a few readers and they are "hooked" on the interaction and storyline, then it's a success!

    I'm encouraged and excited about the journey that lies ahead.

    ONES
     
  4. ImaginaryRobot
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    ImaginaryRobot Member

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    I'll start with an easy one - #4. Even if you don't put the copyright symbol on your work you still own the copyright. You have to sign away your rights to someone before they can use your work.

    #2 - Don't count on making money off of a blog format. My fiancee has a blog that gets thousands of hits a day and her posts are sometimes picked up by Jezebel or other Gawker sites. She makes about enough to cover her hosting costs and maybe buy the occasional cup of coffee. In order to really make any money off of your blog, you have to count on tens or even hundreds of thousands of hits. You should only do this if you are going to get some personal satisfaction out of it.

    #1 - Working on characters, setting, etc. is great, but if you're trying to tell a story, that's all the stuff that should be behind the scenes. No matter how you plan on telling the story, you should start at the beginning, not with setup. People care about characters, not because they've read a mini biography, but because they care about them in the context of a story. The kind of work you're talking about is the foundation of your creative writing. People only look at what's build on top of the foundation.

    #3 - writing an interactive story like that sounds like a really interesting idea. Make sure you retain control, however. Maybe take reader desires as suggestions, or indications about what they're enjoying about your story. Think about how many times you've read a book and seen something awful happen to a character you love. It can make a great book, but if you were talking to the author you probably would have wished for nothing but rainbows and happiness for that character.

    The important thing here is that you sound excited by your idea. Don't let that go. Write something that you're going to love and see where it takes you.
     

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