I'm dipping my toe into the world of writing with what I refer to as a "webnovel."
WTH? A webnovel? What's that?
You know what a webcomic is, don't you? A serially-published comic or graphic novel made available on the Wibbly Wobbly Web, usually in one or two page installments every so many days. A webnovel is very similar in that a traditional, textual novel is made available on the WWW in installments. There's nothing new about publishing a novel in serialized installments: Charles Dickens published most of his work that way in the newspapers of the day. Only after the serial ended were the books we know so well today published. Many of the stories of Sherlock Holmes appeared the same way.
What's different here (and it isn't very much) is the serial is published on the WWW instead of a newspaper. What I'm doing is publishing a chapter at a time on my website and once a group of related chapters (representing a story arc) has been published, I'll make the set available in alternate forms.
The "rules" are pretty simple: You can read the stories on-line for free, a page at a time as in a webcomic. Images of all the pages in a chapter are published on a more-or-less weekly basis. Chapter 1 was 28 pages while Chapter 2 had 43. Pages are formatted as if they were going to be printed single-sided on standard US letter paper (8.5x11in). The online page images are not the highest possible quality, but they're quite readable. If you want a better-quality display or want to read the story off-line, you can buy the PDF file from which the page images were generated for $1 USD direct from the website. Each group of related chapters (which I call a "tale") will be made available as a single PDF file for $4.50 USD. Since a tale will consist of around five chapters, it's slightly less expensive to buy the whole tale than the individual chapters but that's up to you. Tales are formatted for a 6x9in book but the PDF is single-sided for on-screen reading. Still available directly from the website.
As the TV commercials say, "Wait! There's more!"
I'm planning on making a real printed book of each tale available. At the moment, the leading candidate is Amazon's "ClearSpace" print-on-demand publishing service which makes the printed books available through amazon.com world-wide. Amazon handles all the grunt work including the shipping after I send them a print-ready PDF file.
The novel itself is more-or-less in the "steampunk" or "fantasy" or "scifi" genre since everything takes place on an alternate world which is very similar to our own but not quite identical. That world, as the story begins, is much like our own was circa 1915. There is some supernatural content, too. At heart, it is a love story.
Interested? (I hope you are): go to escherton.meahan.net and read the Tales of Escherton There are character biographies, an FAQ and descriptions of the various towns, cities and countries involved in the story. Have a good read!
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled program.