Crowdsourced books, a novel approach that involves the author (or publisher) collaborating with the readers, seems to be on the increase. The latest one I came across in Publishers Weekly was fantasy author Silvia Hartmann where she invited her readers to watch her write her new novel The Dragon Lords. The project called, the Naked Writer (and no, it is not what you think), invites readers to comment and provide feedback on chapters Silvia posts on a publicly visible Google document.
I think this is a great example of engaging the audience and enabling readers/fans to feel that much closer to authors. Though it is not the first of its kind, I am intrigued by the impact on the bottom line i.e. sales and profits.
In my opinion, I believe it can do one of two things….Either make the book a best seller or not. Only time will tell with the books currently being written. That said, Hodder & Stoughton adopted a slightly different take on this where they published a FREE eBook, ‘No, It’s Us Too’, written by Miranda Hart (British comedienne) with contributions from the public. Readers submitted their contributions via Twitter and Miranda selected her favourite 500. As a result, the eBook had more than 50,000 pre-orders. The eBook was a prelude to Miranda’s memoir ‘Is It Just Me?’ (Out 11th Oct). Going by these figures, I reckon the publishers may be on to something here.
I eagerly look forward to seeing the sales figures for Miranda’s book as such early interest could only be a good indication of what is to come.