Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Author posts her vampire novel online for free — and gets an awesome book dea

from Huffington Post

Author posts her vampire novel online for free — and gets an awesome book deal

Can posting your unpublished novels online for free still lead to a nice book deal, now that the web is saturated with free fiction? It worked for author Marta Acosta, whose young-adult vampire novel will come out from Tor Books.

Acosta says she got tired of waiting for her YA novel, The Shadow Girl Of Birch Grove, to get a book deal. So she posted it online at Scribd, where it became the #1 selling YA novel and got some rave reviews from vampire sites. (LoveVampires.com called it "Bloody brilliant.") Acosta, who also writes the successful adult vampire series Happy Hour At Casa Dracula, tells us:

My book had been with Tor and a few other publishers since last October. We hadn't heard anything back and I was beginning to despair. That's when I put the book online as a free read. I don't know that having it on Scribd inspired the offer, but I was able to get reviews that were presented to the editor who expressed interest. Also showing her the number of reads made a difference.

And now, it'll be coming out in hardcover as well as paperback. Of course, it probably helps that her novel includes boarding schools as well as vampire intrigue. Here's the description, via Acosta's blog:

for the rest go here:



Ron Scheer said...

Not sure I understand this phenomenon. You can read something for free, yet you buy a copy? Is it that the online version is too emphemeral, insubstantial, and you want something concrete to hold in your hands and put on your book shelf? There something writers need to know here.

Rusty James said...

I just don't get the uncool cover art.

I miss the days when you bought a book based on it's cover.

Jeff P said...

@ Ron: a lot of younger writers are doing this, and for some it seems to be working. Cory Doctorow is a big proponent. Also, SF writer John Scalzi did this with his novel and also landed a deal w/ Tor, and is now doing very well for himself.

Apparently having something free for people to read often causes them to go out and search for more work that they pay for. In this case, I'm sure the book will sell mostly to folks who weren't aware of it on the 'net.

Strange but true.

Rabid Fox said...

If it works and gets people reading, I have a hard time knocking it. I'm certainly not the target demographic, though. :)

Nik Morton said...

Maybe the free deal lit a fire somewhere... It doesn't matter, really. We write to be read (we don't write to get rich, that's for sure!) and if exposure of any kind draws in readers and reviews, that has to be good. This has got me thinking... I've got an adult vampire cross genre thriller with two publishers... hmm...