Nov 6, 2012

An Open Book

Crowdsourcing has touched every industry from automotive to astronomy. Now, it’s reaching even one of the most traditionally autonomous pursuits: fiction writing. As publishers work to stave off the demise of printed books in favor of e-books, authors are seeking new ways to keep readers engaged, such as integrating them into the writing process itself.

Naked Writer ProjectNaked Writer Project: Silvia Hartmann’s Naked Writer Project allows fans to read her latest fantasy fiction book, The Dragon Lords, as it is being written in real-time. Before beginning a new section, the British novelist sends an announcement to her social networks and then starts writing in a public document on the cloud-based Google Drive. Taking her experiment of complete transparency one step further, the author encourages readers to participate in the writing and editing process by sending her feedback and suggestions on everything from the title to the plot. The paperback’s target publication date is set for the end of next month.

The CollabowritersThe Collabowriters: Chicago-based artist and storyteller Willy Chyr has been crowdsourcing words instead of funding for an Internet-authored book. The Collabowriters project invites people to contribute a sentence of up to 140 characters, whereupon the community decides whether or not it should be added by giving it a rating of +1 or -1. The submission with the highest score becomes the next sentence of the novel, and the story can’t progress until a sentence has scored at least a 5. Chyr views the project as an important experiment in the dynamics of group interaction. Currently five pages long, the book remains a work in progress and is accepting new submissions.

The Diamond ClubThe Diamond Club: Fifty Shades of Grey has grown into a worldwide phenomenon with over 40 million books sold and famous fans like Oprah Winfrey and Lebron James. In response, Brian Brushwood and Justin Young, hosts of comedy podcast NSFW, released a satirical video, called “How the Internet Can Troll Fifty Shades of Grey.” In the short, they explained their intention to crowdsource a book, under the pen name Patricia Harkins-Bradley, with fan-submitted sections that contained “little cohesion amongst the chapters,” but lots of badly written sex scenes. Titled The Diamond Club, the joke book ended up reaching #4 on iTunes’ Paid eBooks chart, making it no laughing matter.

Source: Cassandra Daily

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