Alexander McCall Smith’s online novel – what can you learn?


Stephen King published a novel online a few years back. Now Alexander McCall Smith of the “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” fame is publishing a novel online.

Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith – Telegraph reports:

“Alexander McCall Smith is writing his first ever online novel Corduroy Mansions exclusively for A new chapter will appear on this page each weekday for the next 20 weeks. The best-selling author welcomes your suggestions as the story unfolds.”

What can you learn from this? The main thing you can learn is that if publishing your novel online is good enough for the likes of Stephen King and Alexander McCall Smith, it should be good enough for you.

The advantages:

1. You get readers

2. If you get enough readers, you get a publisher

3. You get instant reaction (or not, as the case may be)

4. You show agents and editors that you’re a serious writer, who’s au fait with publishing and how it works

The disadvantages?

I can’t think of any.

If I were writing a novel today, I’d publish it online, no question. I’ve got used to the instant gratification of the online world. I don’t have two years to waste shopping a novel around the publishing traps.

If you’re writing a novel, publish it online. The worst that can happen is that the book bombs. You may as well know it now, rather than two years from now.

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Yes, you can write more and become an expert writer – even if you’re a world-class procrastinator.

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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.