Am I crazy? Are there 9 writers interested in crowdsourcing a novel?

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  1. marriedwithdebt profile image70
    marriedwithdebtposted 7 years ago

    Before you ask, yes, I'm probably crazy, but I think this could work with the right people.

    What I am looking for is 9 other writers to join me in crowdsourcing a piece of genre fiction, approximately 50,000 words, with the goal of self-publishing on the Kindle platform by early Spring 2012 to catch all those new e-readers who got Kindles for Christmas.

    I am thinking something horror, slasher, thriller, supernatural, suspense, or noir - basically something genre and not highbrow. No romance, no memoir, no meandering literary fiction. I personally think sci-fi is played out and can be too technical for quick writing. Nothing excessively violent (unless the group agrees), nothing with weird erotic undertones or a need for many love scenes.

    Each writer would write only 5,000 words, picking up with the story and voice from the previous writers. Each writer would do 2,500 words on the first round, then it would cycle back through for another round of 2,500 words each, for a total of 50,000 words. The goal would be to do this quickly, with as little effort as possible.

    We could then sell the book for a low price, say $1.99, and split the profits amongst the writers. Since this was my idea, and I plan to be the overseer, editor, Amazon liaison, etc, I would take 20% of the total profit, with the remaining 80% to be split 9 ways. By my rough calculations, you would earn $0.12 for each book we sold at a $2 price point (I don't think we should price any higher or lower). If you price at $2, it is my understanding that we would split 70% of the profit amongst ourselves, with Amazon keeping 30%. For every 10,000 copies we sell, you earn $1,200.

    Yes, I am aware that others have tried this before, but I don't know if they succeeded. I think we have plenty of talented fiction writers at HubPages, and we could blog about the process as well as write Hubs along the way.

    Week One - Writers apply by posting on this Hub (please have a writing sample on your wall)

    Week Two - Chosen writers each, if interested, submit a story idea, with a synopsis and 10-chapter outline; by the end of the week, all writers will vote on which story we will write together

    Week Three, Four and Five - The writer whose story was chosen will write the first 2,500 and submit to the group by end of the second day; second writer will immediately pick up for next two days, etc. After 3 weeks, we will be half done writing.

    Week Six - We will re-evaluate here; discuss how the story is going; possibly keep writing

    Week Seven, Eight and Nine - Second round of writing 2,500 words each, then we are done

    Week Ten and Beyond - Editing (by me and by the group), formatting, book cover design and submission to Kindle; promoting like crazy after that

    So what are the pros and cons of doing this?

    Not much writing for each author (5,000 words each)

    The quick timeline means we can�¢ï¿½ï¿½t second guess ourselves, we just do it!

    10 people promoting the book, rather than just one (blogs, forums, etc)

    No upfront cost; if it fails, the most you are out is your time and 5,000 words

    Can we all agree on a story to write?

    Are we prepared to fail (story could be a total mess when finished)

    Are you comfortable publishing a book under a pseudonym and sharing the limelight?

    Laziness, missed deadlines, or sloppy writing could infect the entire team

    Would probably have to sign an agreement that put your rights to the work in question, but it would protect your share of the profits

    What Kind of Writer Am I Looking For?

    Experience with genre or literary fiction

    One who is able to meet a two-day goal of 2,500 words

    One who has published an e-book of fiction will be given priority if more than 9 applications

    One who is able to assume a collective identity of the author when promoting, that way it seems like our one author is in ten places.

    Full disclosure: I have really only written literary fiction, but have years of editing and reading experience.

    So, what does everyone think of this?

    Could it work? Are you interested?

    Let me know in comments.


    1. cdub77 profile image82
      cdub77posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      What about something a little less ambitious...say three or four writer's total? Is 50k some sort of word limit? How'd you come up with that number?

      I think of success in terms of building a career.  I wouldn't think doing this for an immediate financial success would be a good idea, but to have another piece of writing out there to help build our names, brands and reputations might work.  To do that, though, it'd have to be like minded writers, or similarly branded.  I like the seed of this idea.  It seems as if it could yield an interest story. 

      I particularly like the idea of an agreed upon story narrated by different characters where each character's perspective is written by a different writer, but that's a little different than what you propose.

    2. profile image0
      writeronlineposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds to me like a very 'novel novel'. Just not in a good way.

  2. marriedwithdebt profile image70
    marriedwithdebtposted 7 years ago takers.....

    1. Cardisa profile image89
      Cardisaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Post your job on Elance, you might get better responses there.

      1. Gordon Hamilton profile image95
        Gordon Hamiltonposted 7 years agoin reply to this


        Your idea sounds feasible and workable in theory but do you know what's probably working against you on HP more than anything? The fact that you're so new here and no one knows you.

        Cardisa is almost certainly right.

        Please don't think that I am suggesting you are anything other than genuine - I am not. It's just the understandable reluctance of people to go with unproven Internet schemes in modern days that may be the issue.

        I wish you good luck, whatever you choose to do,


        1. marriedwithdebt profile image70
          marriedwithdebtposted 7 years agoin reply to this


  3. cherylone profile image93
    cheryloneposted 7 years ago

    I'm willing to try, but what type of book are we talking about.  I like to write quick books with an ending that leaves the reader guessing.

    1. marriedwithdebt profile image70
      marriedwithdebtposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      A quick book with an ending like that would fit the bill - just would need to be in the vein of genre fiction.

  4. Randy Godwin profile image91
    Randy Godwinposted 7 years ago

    Sort of interested but don't know if I qualify.  5,000 words is a piece of cake and I do like the genre you suggest.  What's to lose?  smile

    1. marriedwithdebt profile image70
      marriedwithdebtposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      That's the spirit! Certainly with any project, you could think of many reasons not to do it. It's those who say "Why not?" and actually do it that succeed.

  5. HattieMattieMae profile image61
    HattieMattieMaeposted 7 years ago

    hmm...I don't think I'm qualified, to spiritual, and without love their is no soul! lol I'm all about love and not war! But i'm sure the beat goes on, and you will find someone! smile

  6. mortimerjackson profile image58
    mortimerjacksonposted 7 years ago

    Not interested. I think that since this "novel" is going to be something that's written quickly, it should be written for free. Rather than try to make a buck off of it, try to use it to build up your name as a writer.

    I'm an author myself, and I've had enough of an experience to know that just putting something up on sale isn't going to do anything. You have to earn the interest of your audience.

    Also, I would never put something up on sale that I haven't edited at least 4 times. I am working on other projects right now, and I won't release them until next year specifically because I want to make sure the product is quality when it comes out.

    If you do get people to sign on to this though, I stress that you'll get a better reception if you put it out for free than if you charge for it.

    1. marriedwithdebt profile image70
      marriedwithdebtposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Amazon won't allow you to give a book away for free, must start at at least 99 cents.

      Yes, this is more of an experiment.

      As far as editing, if my timeline is followed, the manuscript will be edited 10 times.


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