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Web 2.0 for the Novel

Web 2.0 for the Novel

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Scott James, who writes a weekly column for The New York Times and The Bay Citizen, talks about why he has done a version 2.0 of his bestselling novel The Sower.
Scott James, who writes a weekly column for The New York Times and The Bay Citizen, talks about why he has done a version 2.0 of his bestselling novel The Sower.

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Published by: Kemble Scott (Scott James) on Nov 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/23/2013

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Web 2.0 for the Novel
By Scott JamesPublished onLikomaNovember 2010A dear friend mourned the recent passing of President John F. Kennedy’s closeconfidant and speechwriter Ted Sorensen. “He wrote my favorite book,” she said.Which one? I asked.She couldn’t remember the title. But I was missing the point – it wasn’t a book sheactually read. It was simply a large hardcover of size and heft that had become auseful blunt instrument around the house when she needed to bash something anda hammer wasn’t available or appropriate.Books, I was reminded, are quite solid objects.Not so with digital books. In the emerging e-books world, booksand the stories they contain aren’t even static – the text can bechanged or updated in an instant. When my latest novel, TheSower, was published last year, the first release was as a digitalbook, and at the time I made the point of saying how thiscreated a new possibility for authors. Once committed to theprinted page, our words were locked. Digital books offered akey to get back inside.Now I’ve done exactly that with a new digital edition of my novel,The Sower 2.0.I’m told it’s the first version 2 of a novel.It’s not that I’ve had second thoughts about the first time I wrote the book. Themessage of the novel is the same, as are the characters, the themes, and theoverall story arc. These took years to conceive, and I have not changed my mind.But the novel has always been set in an alternative version of the present day. It’sa thriller about a manmade supervirus. Instead of killing people, the virus cures alldiseases. But there’s a hitch. The only way the virus cure can be passed to others isthrough sex.This sets off the ultimate battle of the current culture wars. That’s what drove meto release the first edition last year as an e-book. Digital publishing meant I couldwork on the novel right up until the hour of publication, making it as topical as theday’s news. With print publishing, a book must typically be completed two yearsbefore it reaches readers.So nearly 18 months after The Sower was first released, my intention was to go

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this is awesome
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Scott - you're such a trailblazer!!!
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