Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Studying Other People's Success

I've been trying to find other successful online fiction writers to see what they did to be successful. I've been looking especially hard at David Wellington, the author of the zombie novel series Monster Island, Monster Nation, Monster Planet.

David Wellington might as well be the poster boy for novelogs. He has published six novels online in a serial fashion, and has three of those novels currently out in print. But how'd he do it?

He started out posting Monster Island, his first online novel at brokentype.com. I'm not very familiar with brokentype, but it seems to have a robust community already so there was some built in readership there. Getting published on an already popular blog is a good way to get noticed, much like being published in a pro-print magazine, but still he had to promote his writing somehow. Right?

From a message board hosted by brokentype for Wellington, I found this post very interesting. It's a list of things fans could do to support the author.

1) Post the first chapter of thirteen bullets to you blog or myspace page and link back to the site

2) Recommend the books in other forums you are a member of – don’t spam, obviously, just be honest

3) Create an amazon listmania list with your favorite zombie fiction - and link Monster Island.

4) Pre-order Monster Island.

The idea of posting the first chapter of a work on multiple blogs as a way to promote it is a great idea and ridiculously simple and free, but how to get people to post them? Wellington had a discussion board to tell fans to do that. Somehow I feel like the cart got put in front of the horse here.

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