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Thursday, 16 July 2009 10:12

Publishing a book in 140 character instalments

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What to do if every publisher you can find rejects your manuscript?

Here's a conundrum.  You finally complete your first novel "The French Revolution," hire an agent and have him submit the manuscript to every major publisher he can think of.  Result: Publishers 1 : Author 0.

It was regarded as too 'risky' according to the author, Matt Stewart, on his blog, "My agent submitted The French Revolution to all the major publishing houses. Many of them loved it, but none were willing to buy what they viewed as a "risky" novel--vivid language, elements of fantasy and farce, raunchy humor. What better place to take risks than Twitter?"

So that's what he did.  Starting on July 14th (Bastille Day, geddit?) he commenced tweeting the entire novel.

Stewart expects to use around 3,700 tweets to publish the entire 480,000 characters of the story.  At his stated rate of around 4 per hour that works out at about 39 days to complete.

Interested readers can find the novel here.  Alternately, Stewart would be happy to provide a Kindle version for $1.99.  Oh, and he's not too bothered by the prospect of someone capturing all 3,700 tweets and joining them back together.  Not sure I would either!

I dipped my toe in the water, as it were, and looked at the current crop of tweets.  I must admit, what I saw wasn't to my taste, but this is certainly an interesting concept.

I really don't think we've found the limits of how Twitter might be used, although I'm not sure the users will be teenagers, as my fellow columnist Stephen Withers has reported.

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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