Apropos to my recent post on Google Docs, novelist Silvia Hartmann is embarking on a brave new experiment using Google’s office suite. She’s letting anyone and everyone watch her write a new fantasy novel in a public Google document. You can watch every word — every single character — appear on the screen as she types or just check on her progress whenever you please. It’s almost like being able to look over her shoulder as she writes the first draft.
It takes a great deal of courage to publish even a completed and edited novel. Even more to serialize a novel on your website or blog every week as you write it. How much courage does it take to let people watch your every keystroke while you write the first draft?
Established authors could sell access to this kind of inside look at how the sausage is made. But that might not be the best way to make use of this new opportunity. Even established authors, but especially new ones, could use this “naked writing” as a new way to connect with fans and gain publicity. No need to go for the direct sale. Foster a deeper connection with fans and attract more of them, then you might make more money from your writing in the long run.