24 Hour Book complete!
6 October 2009 in Future of Publishing
‘A Vauxhall Chorus: The 24 Hour Book’ is finished! We wrote it on Saturday, it was edited on Sunday, and last night - Monday - we drank champagne at the Soho launch! Extraordinary. Here’s the cover image - I’ve scanned it myself as it doesn’t seem to exist online yet.
I read the various texts when they were in their as-yet-unedited state, early Sunday morning. But I have yet to read the full edited, published, text, and I’m looking forward to doing that later today.
This was an extraordinary experience, not least of all because it was huge fun. One of the reasons the project worked so well, is that the partnerships were very well thought out - Spread the Word, Completely Novel, if:Book, and the Society of Young Publishers, working alongside teams of writers and artists.
The other thing that made the project work as well as it did was Googledocs. Though we stretched this platform to beyond breaking point from time to time, it provided an incredibly easy to use online platform for all our writers and artists, whether or not we were working in the same room or across the Atlantic via the internet. Googledocs started life as Writely and thanks to my ever-wired colleague, Sue Thomas, I’ve been using it since the platform was first created. Combining it with Skype and Twitter and e-mail and a ning made for an all-round collaborative writing experience that really did outstrip anything I’ve been involved with in the past.
And like all good projects, it has given me lots of ideas for future projects that take what we learned this weekend and push the possibilities and opportunities for writers even further.
This does not mark the end of the solitary, lengthy, novel writing process - of course not. I should talk, given ‘The Mistress of Nothing’ took me more than a dozen years to write. But I feel as though we have put a marker in the sand when it comes to open access collaborative writing projects. This is only the beginning of what is possible.
In other news, today I go to Birmingham to do a gig with Sadie Jones at the Literary Festival; today is also the day I find out whether or not I will get on the Giller Prize shortlist. Needless to say, I’m feeling a little nervous.
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