Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How cool is this!

One of the great advantages of electronic publishing is the ease of post-publication editing.  Oops, a typo? Oops, a dangling modifier? Oops, a fact that isn't?  And best of all, Elle Lothorien's idea: oops, I want a different ending.

Read all about Elle's amazing idea here in USA Today!

And yes, I'm one of the howling chorus who is desperate for a sequel to Frog Prince.


Kristin Laughtin said...

Huh, it's an interesting idea. I'm sure as an author I would love the ability to fix typos; I'm one of those who will fixate on a minor error like that, especially if there's no way to fix it, as there would be in a print book (until the next print run, maybe). And part of me likes the idea of offering alternate endings. I fear, though, the idea that authors might use the technology to continually revise their novels, which would get annoying for me. I want to be able to talk about the book with people, which gets harder to do with more editions and revisions. I need there to be one, or no more than a few, authoritative versions.

T.L. Bodine said...

I've often wondered about alternate endings -- and all of the other "DVD extras" that can go along with a book, like deleted scenes, commentary, etc. But then I summarily dismissed most of these ideas as 'writer porn' and went back to writing the book.

I think, for me, a primary drawing power to traditional publishing is its sense of finality. I could tinker and fidget and obsess about a manuscript for years (and have done so), and I think unless it were fixed in an immutable form of some kind or another it wouldn't feel "real" enough to keep me from constantly tweaking it.

I'd then get so worked-up over revising the same novel over and over and over that I'd never be able to do anything new. *shudder* It'd be like some sort of Greek-style writer hell.

Guilie said...

The idea totally rocks--I can see so many possibilities, and if this catches on, it may (further) revolutionize the way we write--and read--books. Kind of like a "choose your own adventure", but then BIGGER. Awesome!

Elle Lothlorien said...

Interesting comments, Kristin, although I think "authoritative versions" is a term perhaps more applicable to non-fiction, legislation, and Encyclopedia Brittanica. SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES UP! is a standalone, separate novel. The original is still available as plain ol' SLEEPING BEAUTY. And I think I speak for indie-authors everywhere when I say that no fan has ever complained when I've fixed a typo!

Elle Lothlorien said...

T.L., one person's "writer porn" is another person's "marketing strategy." ;-)

Consider that an independently-published author (especially one whose income from book royalties IS their "day job") must always be innovating and thinking creatively,--both when writing, and when making business choices. I can assure you that endlessly "tinkering" with one novel (vs writing a new one) is NOT good for business!

In this case, I gambled (correctly) that the alternate version would generate PR. And I must admit that it was loads of fun revisiting the characters and watching the story "tip" in a completely different direction.

About 30% of the alternate version of the novel contains new material, but it only took about three weeks to accomplish because 1) I was already familiar with the characters and the plot; 2) I already had in mind where I would make the initial "change" (hint: Chapter 11). :)

Elle Lothlorien said...

Thank you, Guilie.

I do point out in the interview that SLEEPING BEAUTY lends itself very easily to an "alternate ending" because of the nature of the plot and the love triangle. I'm not sure we need an alternate ending for, say, JURASSIC PARK or PRIDE & PREJUDICE (although PRIDE & PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES was hella fun!).

Probably should be said that another author, Caroline Smailes, e-published her book, 99 REASONS WHY, offering eleven possible endings based on multiple choice questions (see Daily Mail article "The book where you decide the ending: New digital novel will quiz readers to pick how it finishes" from February 16, 2012, link below).

Her idea was based on the “choose your own adventure” books in the eighties and nineties, and she was motivated by fans who said they wished the end of her novel had been “less gloomy.” A trend? I guess we'll see...

Papillon crew said...

Jasper Fforde has been putting out extras and corrections to his books on his website for years. It is pretty cool.