88 blog entries = 1 book

Not knocking. It’s a bad habit I have. But to be honest I think it’s a learned behaviour. It’s so consistently led to excitement and drama that I have to admit I’m probably intending to do it on some subconscious level. Bedroom locks were made for girls like me.

At first, as my eyes adjusted to the light, I thought Lilith was meditating. My last roommate was into yoga. But Lilith was on her knees, rather than cross-legged. And she was surrounded by candles, a thick circle of dozens and dozens of wax stubs. The window was open; it was cold in there, the light spastic.

So starts Roommate From Hell, a new blog by novelist Jim Munroe, who explains on his site:

When Kate discovers that her roommate identifies as a demoness, she figures it’s too sacrilicious a secret to keep to herself: she tells all on her blog, roommatefromhell.com.

This is the basic gist of my new book, An Opening Act of Unspeakable Evil, a tale of the urban occult told entirely through Kate’s entries. Starting today, I’ll be posting one a day to the faux roommatefromhell.com blog until all 88 entries (the whole book) are up.

I love the idea of using blog to distribute creative works. Giving away stuff for free in order to allow people the opportunity to enjoy it, and then maybe buy it if they like it, appeals to me immensely. And if you’ve got the creative chops, it works too – both Cory Doctorow and Lawrence Lessig have simultaneously published books free online and in print which have sold out, going into additional print runs.

Of course, Doctorow’s and Lessig’s successes don’t guarantee that Munroe will sell a thing – that entirely depends on the quality of his work. But having the guts to put your stuff out there demands respect, particularly as he uses an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons licence so people can take his work and mash it up however they like.

The only thing that I would quibble about is his use of the word ‘faux’ in relationship to the blog. Looks like a blog, smells like a blog, is a blog. I don’t think it matters that the blog is pre-planned and fictional, that doesn’t make it a faux blog to me, it makes it a fictional blog. Does the fictional/factual nature of a book change whether or not it is a book?

Again with the format/form/story debate.

(Via Kevin on email, via BoingBoing)

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