So I’m slowly (slowly!) getting ready to start serializing Snake-Boy Loves Sky Prince on the web again. The last time I did such a thing, I tried to “wing it” and write the story as I went, with no real sense of where the plot was going. This works for a lot of writers, I believe, but it did not work for me. Maybe I’ll write a post one day about what happened to my mind when it was subject to feedback from an audience every single day while I was in the middle of writing a book. I was lucky to have any audience at all, of course, I don’t mean to imply otherwise. But they kind of took over, which hadn’t been my intent.
Anyway, I’ve decided to finish the thing before I start posting it. I’m getting there. Don’t rush me! Ha! I’m getting there.
Meanwhile, I’ve been looking at these fiction “communities” and wondering if it would be better to serialize the book there, where there’s already a large audience.
On the plus side: sites like figment.com and wattpad.com have a reasonably large base of readers already, who are specifically looking to read fiction. Not all of them will end up reading mine, of course, but some of them will, and in the world of online content, “some” is an excellent start.
On the negative side: I lose the opportunity to own my brand (not my work — none of the sites I’m thinking of posting on claim to own your work). Having your own website has always been the best way to ensure that you are in control of the way your work is presented. Posting your work on a big aggregation site has sometimes been perceived as less-than-professional.
That said, I’m tending toward the fiction hosts. The “owning your own brand” thing made a lot more sense in the days when the goal was to make a living solely by running a content-oriented website. If your website is going to make money all by itself, then you want all that money to land in your own pocket. Right? That’s not the business model anymore. My business model is to serialize SBLSP in order to build up an audience, then maybe sell books in the future. If a labor of love like this one can be said to have a “business model” at all.
I’m still not convinced, though.
So I’m asking you: are these sites worthwhile? Have any of you used them? Have any of you used other sites like these, that I haven’t heard of? If I do decide to go this route, which of the sites would you recommend? Or should I just continue to post work on a site I control?