I made a critical mistake when I started writing Call it Freedom. And that was to publish it as a blog. Yet I’m everything but sad or angry; CiF has proved to be an invaluable experience in writing, publishing and the digital world. Now I can tell you what a blook should be about.
I know, you can write a novel and publish it online. Perfect, great, nothing wrong about it. I read many fiction ebooks both on my computer screen and on my PDA. Publishing a traditional novel on the web is absolutely great as long as you do it for the right reason. And that is any reason but you believe your work is not good enough to be published. If that’s the case look for real friends who can review it and help you. (Real friends = they tell you the truth).
My two big mistakes:
- Publishing it as a blog because I “knew” it was not good enough to be published.
- Publishing a traditional novel as if it were a blook, a blog novel.
What a blook (blog-novel) should be?
Bear in mind that these are my opinions only, yet they are based on first-hand experience.
- A blook is communication.
- A blook should be reader-driven. In other words by comments and actions, the reader should tell you what to do next.
- You don’t start a blook with Chapter 1, you start a blook by promoting it first and telling the world about your project.
- A blook is an ongoing, permanent business as opposed to a finished story.
- A blook ends whenever you or your readers believe it should be over.
- A blook “length” is defined by the frequency of your posts and not a word-count.
- A blook can have infinite authors. Just ask your readers to contribute!
- Run contests, offer real life links, uncover your sources, debate, dialog
- You don’t monetize a blook. It’s either a business or it isn’t. If it’s, then make sure you can make money out your many hours of work; if not, then don’t bother working for peanuts.
- My rule, if you can earn more money as easily doing anything else then do that something else.
- A blook should use music, video, images and interaction as an integral part of the experience.
- A blook should not use music, video, images and interaction as a way to make it look nice or atract more readers.
If your project does not fit these, then please do not publish it as a blook. Go the traditional route, publish it yourself or write it as an ebook.
So what am I going to do with Call it Freedom?
I am not sure yet. Most probably close the project for a few months, finish the story whenever I get my first holidays, and move on.
To avoid the “not getting published so I’ll blog”, I’ve just spent $90 in advanced grammar and usage books. Besides, I’ve made up my mind of writing in British English, instead of the messy British-American English sparkled with some hidden Spanish I usually write in. (Why British? Long story, it has taken me a lot of time to decide but, ultimately because that’s where I learned my English.)
Will I ever work in a blog novel again? Hmm… I don’t know, I have a story that could fit… so many projects, so few time 🙂