How many of you are aware of the author Brandon Sanderson? If you’re not, here is a quick bio: Author of the Mistborn series who took over the A Wheel of Time series after the death of Robert Jordan (told you it would be quick). So why am I bringing him up? Not necessarily because of his quality or quantity of writing (the guy is a beast), but because of how he’s marketed himself. Brandon approached things in a very unique way. If you go to his website, you’ll see a section called “Library.” This is where things get interesting.
In the Library catalog (I wanted to write catalogue, but WordPress yells at me for that one) you’ll discover he has an entire book there. Warbreaker. Brandon released one chapter, per week, in html format for anyone to read. He revised it as he went along and let people in on the process.
In addition there are sample chapters of other books, short stories, and deleted scenes. The amount of free material there is fantastic and speaks to his thoughts on being a creative person.
But more importantly, it speaks on how to build an audience.
Brandon is completely open with his readers. He doesn’t shy away from the fact that working on a novel is a messy and haphazard process. We authors don’t write out a well formed book right away (at least most of us don’t). At times, it can be down right harrowing.
And I think the readers, his audience, enjoy having those ring side seats.
Now, I’m aware he’s not the only one that offers free samples or short stories on his site. Heck, Cory Doctorow put up his book “Down and Out In the Magic Kingdom” for free as well. But Brandon is a good beacon to point to. And I admire what he’s been able to accomplish.
I quite like the Brandon Sanderson Approach™, and something I’ll be trying myself. Maybe not with my novel. But I don’t see why I shouldn’t create a page for people to get a look at what I have to offer.
That’s a good thing, right? Write.