Sunday, October 14, 2007

Trouble Reading

I have a confession to make. I have yet to finish a long piece of fiction online. I have tried. I've clicked over to several websites and settled in, but I just can't do it.

It's frustraing, and if I can't commit to reading a long work, how do I expect anyone to commit to reading MY long work?

Some websites I click away from because I don't like the design of the site, I don't like the way the text is laid out, or I'm not grabbed by the prose. I've tried going back, but it doesn't work.

I'm beginning to suspect that this is why there aren't any online novel/novelog review sites.

This is not good.

How to make it better?

It would seem offering multiple formats is the way to go. If you can't get readers to read the blog, give them other options. You could make a print edition available for purchase. You could offer a .pdf download. You could offer a podcast. What am I going to do? I'm not sure yet. I may offer the .pdf download once the work is finished. I'm not sure yet about the print copy. I could set something up with Lulu. I don't know yet. The podcast sounds like a fun idea, but I don't know if I'm ready to commit to something like that.

And maybe I should try reading a few of those websites. If not, at least pin down WHY I didn't want to continue reading those websites, if for only my own edification.

1 comment :

DustinM said...

I think you should really pin down why you don't like those websites and not repeat that mistake. I think it's the responsibility of the online authors to make the text readable.

I think reading fiction online is still a new concept. Pioneers like yourself need to continue experimenting to see what will and won't work.

If you're really truly trying to read an online story, it's up to the author to try and hold your attention and up to the published(same person in the online world) to make it easy to read.