Monday, September 8, 2014

Introducing Thrills and Mystery

I was recently struck with inspiration in the form of an idea for a new paradigm for online publishing. What I have come up with is a project that can benefit all mystery genre writers, a website designed to promote and expand the audiences of writers of thrillers, action/adventure, and other dark tales of murder and lesser crimes. Currently in ALPHA testing, I have built a website called It is presently under construction and not yet available to the public. 

When the page is live, authors will submit stories to vie for inclusion in a five-times-a-year anthology. The process begins when a third of each submitted story is posted on a publicly accessible forum where readers can comment on the story, sort of like real-time beta readers. They might offer input on character development, pacing, clarity of theme, or anything they think will help the writer to rework the piece to make a more enticing read. Obviously, it’s up to the writer to apply or ignore reader advice. After the story-ration has been available for critique for a minimum of one month, it can move on into the voting stage. During the voting stage, a larger story-ration will be posted on a dedicated page for a particular issue of the anthology, but the last third will be held back. Readers then use that two-thirds of a story to determine whether they want to read the conclusion. If they are hooked, they vote for the story. The six to eight stories receiving the highest number of votes appear in the next issue of the anthology. 

It's a simple idea, but it is designed to usurp the traditional model where editors and publishers decide what the reading public gets to enjoy. In addition to getting the stories they want, readers also benefit by finding new writers to read. Writers benefit by potentially acquiring new fans. Stories benefit by gaining the direct insight and input of readers. The site will hopefully go live some time in October, and readers of this blog will be among the first to know. 

The anthology will be published once every ten weeks with a winter issue in early January, a spring issue, a summer issue, a fall issue and a holiday issue to follow. Since the main purpose is to help readers and indie writers to discover one another, the costs will be extremely low, and copies will be available for purchase on the site, or from all online retailers. A paper version will also be available, but at a more substantial price. Stay tuned to this site for updates and additional news.

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