Friday, August 26, 2016

Open Book Discussion - Why do you post Chapter by Chapter?

Why do you post Chapter by Chapter? 

Open Book Discussion

 Hello all.

With having just started to try to dig back into writing, I had a very interesting question directed to me that I wanted to take a minute to answer. The question, simply put, is, "Why do you post Chapter by Chapter?"

Now, what the person in question was actually referring to was questioning why I was seemingly posting what might turn out to be an entire novel, chapter by chapter, on a free blog. "Don't you want to publish?" they questioned me next. "Why would anyone buy a book if they can just read it piece by piece on your blog?"

So, for anyone wondering the why or for anyone who is currently or considering doing the same thing, here are the reasons that I openly post chapters to what might later be published.

1) Every chapter posted is a first draft

That's right. Every chapter, when it is posted, is fresh from the kiln. While I do go over it briefly to try to weed out glaring typos, grammatical errors, and just generally bad writing, the product being posted is brand new. If I ever do make a book of whatever it is I'm posting, there's a high likelyhood that an editor will have gone through it with a big, nasty red pen to clean up my mess and make each chapter less fluff and more actual literature. Hell, some chapters and bits posted may never even be SEEN in a respective book if my editor has anything to do with it.

2) The Storyteller Syndrome

At the end of the day, I write because I like to tell stories. Some of them are just my imagination running wild and HAVING to get it out of my head somehow. However, a large chunk of the stories I write are me simply enjoying the act of weaving a tale. If it were in person, I'd be fueled just by watching my listeners' and readers' faces. But, since it's not, I like to read the comments. They help me get a feel for if I'm heading in the direction I want to and if people are inherently interested in what is being written. Even if I'm terrible at responding to most comments, I can promise you that I read every one ever posted.

3) Tell your friends
In exchange for me telling you a story and receiving your criticisms, I consider my services bought and paid for with my initial audience. For those people that consistently show up, read my works, tell me their thoughts, and just generally keep an eye on what I'm doing, I don't expect to ever make a dime. I don't expect to EVER sell any book I ever create out of any work I ever do to my main readers on my blog. Simply put...why would they? They've already seen the work from conception (literally, first drafts, like I said) to completion. Why would they want to spend money except to cross compare what I did to what my editors slashed out or had me add? Most wouldn't care. What is more likely to happen, however, is when a book comes out, those individuals that like my work might share that information with friends and family and spread to those people who don't follow me and might be more inclined to pick a book up off the shelf.
4) Removal of Extra content
Finally, if any particular work were to be made into a published story or piece, you'll notice that it will magically disappear from the site. The reason for this should be obvious. My editor has finally just killed me for my inadequacies and is removing my stain from this Earth. Please. She's a monster. I have the door locked but it will only hold for so long...

In all seriousness, any works that do end up being published are simply removed for the same train of logic as Number 3. The people who have been with me all this time have already been reading my work. They are more than likely not going to be interested in picking up a copy of something they've followed from conception, except perhaps for posterity sake. Instead, it's encouraging those individuals who are only just finding out about a piece to go to their local bookstore or website to grab themselves a copy and find out for themselves. I.e., to the original point of the person in question, I'm not just leaving free content to read piece by piece was the book comes out.

All in all, I hope this was an interesting little peak into the logic of the work that I post. Nothing groundbreaking I'm sure, but since I've gotten the question a few times now (obviously the more recent being the prompt), I decided to just post it for all to see. Of course, if you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to let me know. As mentioned before, I'm fueled by commentary, whether they are love or hate. :)
Have a wonderful day everyone.

Robert Bennett


  1. Makes sense indeed. I've posted a few on my blog over the years and then edited them better and published them.

  2. Hi Rob - it does make complete sense ... - good to see you back and writing .. cheers Hilary

  3. That makes a lot of sense. I had been reading chapters of a story on Literotica a few years ago and she got a book deal and her story disappeared from Literotica. Now she's got a few books out. So if that's what you want, I wish you the best. Good luck with your writing adventure.

  4. It does indeed make sense. However, when you say that people who have read it piece by piece wont be buying the completed work, you are forgetting the rereaders among us.

    1. My apologies. You are right, of course. No offense meant. :)

  5. I just saw this post and I thought I'd add my thoughts. If you published a story that I enjoyed reading here, I'd most likely buy it as a gift for a friend or family member. I would be spreading the joy!