After several requests and 9 years, I have finally created an ebook version of my first novel. The ebook came about while I was working on a model for finishing my second novel, The Hundred, which is about the world of Martin Luther’s youth. It is the first of two novels about Luther and his world, both of which are fairly well drafted.
A few considerations weigh on my production of the Luther novels:
- fulfilling a promise to people who are waiting for them.
- exploring the idea of the novel as a medium for public history.
- getting them done.
I am toying seriously (Can one do that?) with the idea of publishing polished but not final drafts of chapters on Scribd, which houses a few of my older academic papers. These chapter drafts would allow readers to be part of the process as I write, offering feedback and observing the work’s progress. They would provide the public with immediate access to the late medieval world in short snapshots. Publicly available chapters might also stimulate interest in the project before it comes out as a bound book. These drafts would also break down the colossus that is the project at present. Feedback, even if only in page hits, would provide immediate incentive to get through this first book in the next year or two. This sort of motivation and encouragement will become increasingly important given that I will be teaching 3 courses this summer and 4 in the fall.
I welcome comments on this idea.