Groundbreaking Online Wovel Launched by Book Publisher
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PORTLAND, Ore.--(Business Wire)-- All of those years of reading horror stories by flashlight under her blanket left Underland Press publisher Victoria Blake with the distinct sense that something intangible was creeping up behind her. The former Dark Horse editor now realizes that the something was technology. With vocal online communities offering feedback and opinions about everything, Blake wondered why readers couldn't be asked to decide the plot of a fiction novel. Developing this idea, Black thought up the wovel(TM). "A wovel is a web novel," Blake says. "Unlike straight serialized fiction, the plot of the wovel is determined by the readers. The fans vote after every installment, and the author spools the story out, every Monday rain or shine until the story is complete." Initial reader response has been tremendous. After quietly launching her new company Underland Press at Book Expo America on June 1, Blake's site had nearly 1,000 visitors in the first 10 days, with 700 of them voting on the first installment of Kealan Patrick Burke's zombie wovel, "The Living." Burke is the Bram Stroker Award winner whom Publisher's Weekly called "a newcomer worth watching," and Booklist called "one of the most original authors in contemporary horror." "Underland will publish both paper-and-ink titles and online titles," Blake explained. "I didn't want my company to be limited by the confines of paper and ink, or by the confines of the web. My vision for Underland is to combine the best of the web with the best of print, and to see what happens with a little bit of imagination and a little bit of guts. Like the readers and fans, I can't wait to see what comes next." How It Works: Weaving a Wovel The author posts an installment every week, rain or shine. Installment length hits the sweet-spot of online reading--long enough to get interested, short enough to read in the cubicle at work. At the end of every installment, the author writes in a plot branch point. Does the heroine kill her lover? Will the zombies catch the soldier? Is the box empty, or is it filled with bees? The readers decide. On Monday, the post goes up. Voting is open through Thursday. The author writes Thursday and Friday. The editors edit Friday and Saturday, just in time for a new post on Monday. Part literature, part Exquisite Corpse. The pace of print journalism, the imagination of fiction, the spark of reader participation. Because of the immediate reader demand, the original schedule has been accelerated to accommodate the fast-growing voter base. The next installment will be posted on June 16. New readers can read past posts online, and vote on current posts as they are made live. For information, please visit http://www.underlandpress.com or visit Victoria Blake's blog at http://www.underlandpress.com/blog.cfm ABOUT UNDERLAND PRESS We like stories that scare us. We like the macabre--monsters and magic and men with nothing to lose. More than anything, we like to be intrigued and entertained. Underland Press was started to bring the best of the world's scary and strange stories to life and to light. In print and online, we're making the books you can't put down. WriteBrain Media Denise Dorman, Publicist Phone 24/7: 630.845.4694 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Business Wire 2008
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