Self-publishing in an Internet Age, or, Web Comics Without the Pictures.
December 18, 2007 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Pages Unbound is a portal for serialized web novels, similar to web comic portals such as Buzz Comix and Top Web Comics, if not nearly as fancy. It is a new project by Tales of MU author Alexandra Erin. Note: Tales of MU and some of the novels found on Pages Unbound may be NSFW, as they contain explicit material of various sorts. MU, specifically, is concerned with LGBT issues and racism in a fantasy setting.
posted by Caduceus (9 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

This might be an interesting way to expand readership. I'm a chronic author of pulp scifi serials, made available for free on the Web as they're written, and I've been looking for a way to bust out into a wider sphere for a while now. I have a dead-tree edition coming out on Valentine's Day 2008, but I'm also hungry to expand the purely electronic audience.

Sadly, submissions are currently down for upgrades. I'll certainly be checking back, though.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 1:29 PM on December 18, 2007

Happy to help. Hopefully you won't be the only one who finds this useful.
posted by Caduceus at 1:31 PM on December 18, 2007

Hey, cool! Alexandra is a recidivist contributor to my site. Pages Unbound looks like a great project. I'll shoot her an E-mail and let her know she's made it to MetaFilter.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:55 PM on December 18, 2007

A really interesting idea, but, my God, it's all so unbelievably bad (and I bothered to click through to four novels from Pages Unbound, and a good few pages of the MU one). Is there anyone using this form who can actually write?

I almost wish the Tales of MU one was readable, so I could face a few more more pages in a bid to discover what 'racism in a fantasy setting' might mean.
posted by jack_mo at 3:16 PM on December 18, 2007

As the OP, it would be unbecoming of me to suggest that your standards of readability are absurdly strict, or that your lack of perseverance is depriving you of at least one and probably a good many more really excellent stories, so instead I'll just link you to the page which discusses racism in fantasy settings.
posted by Caduceus at 4:37 PM on December 18, 2007

Eh. It's been done.
posted by jscalzi at 6:35 PM on December 18, 2007

jack_mo, slush piles are famously bad. The traditional publishing apparatus (author->editor->shelves) puts a few filters between you, the end-reader, and the terror which is failure. You know those books you hate? Those ones with the terrible characters and the shiny magic pony (or whatever) on the cover? Yeah, those are better than 97% of the slush pile.

A site like this has no such filtering.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:58 PM on December 18, 2007

it would be unbecoming of me to suggest that your standards of readability are absurdly strict

Not at all. I'll happily read Heat magazine, pulp and airport novels, the unpublished efforts of teenage acquaintances, Peter Sotos, John Grisham, &c., and this stuff is just beyond dire in comparison to anything I could ever stomach. I saw the phrase 'copious breasts' twice when blundering about the MU place, for crying out loud, and half the Pages Unbound gang haven't even mastered spelling and punctuation.

The racism in fantasy settings thing is kind of disappointing - I was imagining some sort of weird slash fiction-style paraphilia of eroticised hate speech, not ham-fisted sub-Swiftian satire involving folk being mean to goblins because they have funny ears.

A site like this has no such filtering.

To be fair, plenty of completely unpublishable stuff is good. I was just misguided in assuming that an interesting form would contain interesting content. Like expecting deeply moving haiku on Twitter, I suppose.
posted by jack_mo at 8:37 PM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Jeez. Now I wish I hadn't sent that E-mail. Y'all can be a bunch of jerks sometimes, you know that?
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:19 AM on December 19, 2007

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