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How do you like your online stories?

As part of my research for the series on The Fine Art of Self-promotion, I've been looking at the different methods people use to showcase their work online. 

My own preference is to do it through an e-publisher, like Flash Me magazine; Every Day Fiction; Weird Tales etc. which I can then link to from elsewhere.  Some places even do pod-casts, which I've enjoyed.  But there are other ways.  A sample story on a personal website, a sample chapter or excerpt from a current WIP on a blog community, or personal journal. 

From a reader's point of view, if it's online I prefer flash fiction (less than 1,000 words).  For longer stories, if I have the choice, I'd rather listen to it as a pod-cast, or hold the pages in my hand.  I've only ever read one sample chapter online.  Though I did enjoy it, I think it would have made more of an impact on me, had it been an audio version.

How about you?

Pod-cast? Micro? Flash? How do you like your online stories?

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( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2009 12:25 pm (UTC)
For anything beyond a couple hundred words, I vastly prefer a download link so I don't have to stay online to read it. And now that I have a Kindle, I have somewhere to put it where I can read it easily.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC)
Do you read the ones you've downloaded? After I do it I tend to forget all about them :(
Oct. 22nd, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
usually, but not always. I keep my Kindle set to display the newest document at the top. I usually open a new story right away and read it because it's potentially exciting. The exception is free ebooks (whole books, not stories). I tend to wait on those.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
My friend temporus http://temporus.livejournal.com is a big fan of e-readers, but I'm too cheap/old-fashioned (or both) to go down that route, at least for now :)

Thanks for the input :)
Oct. 22nd, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
I am a dinosaur. The only time I read a story online is if it's by someone I know, or an online news article. The only podcasts I've ever listened to were one in which I took part, and a series of stories by a friend. I am that rarest of scififantasy geeks; I am as far removed from being a techie as a butterfly is from an elephant.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 12:43 pm (UTC)
'...I am as far removed from being a techie as a butterfly is from an elephant...'

But butterflies evolved from elephants, everybody knows that. Over the years they got smaller and smaller until their ears became wings.

Honestly, woman, you really need to start watching the Discovery Channel more ;)
Oct. 22nd, 2009 12:45 pm (UTC)
But I DO watch Discovery. And the Science Channel, and all the sister stations. I do, I DO!!! I think it's all cool and fabulous--at a distance. :-P
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:11 pm (UTC)
Under a thousand words. Anything longer than that and I'm twitching to get up, even though I generally sit at the computer doing others things most of the day.

I've never listened to a podcast, and I've never read a sample chapter on anyone's website.

I think in terms of book promotion, I'd rather have a book's blurb, or (for unpublished books) the synopsis than a sample chapter. Again, under a thousand words. Honestly, the shorter the better.

The nature of a computer is to distract - there's so many other things I could be doing online - so something has to be short enough to warrant the attention span.

Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
I've heard two podcasts. I think they're a great idea, but then I'm a fan of audio books in general.

Thanks for sharing :)
Oct. 22nd, 2009 02:14 pm (UTC)
I love books on CD when I drive long distances. Podcasts aren't the same to me. But then again, the only way I know of listening to a podcast is through iTunes.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:37 pm (UTC)
I much prefer a hard copy book to reading online, but since my job requires all-day reading online now--they send everything as pdf documents--I'm getting more used to it. I've read a few e-novels now. I tend not to download podcasts. Maybe I'd like them; I don't know. I prefer reading to listening, just as I have problems watching TV (it's all so slow compared to what the eye can take in!).

I do like when writers link to their online works, whatever length. It gives me a chance to read new work without investing money yet. And if I like what they're doing, then I'd love (prefer) to order any hard copies they might have.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 04:47 pm (UTC)
I think it's great to link to other works, or even put up a podcast on your site, though I'm not a fan of fitst chapter giveaways. As someone mentioned yesterday (can't remember where), the blurb on the book should be enough.

That said, I like to read shorts online :)
Oct. 22nd, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC)
I don't mind reading longer pieces off the computer. I'm reading Catherynne Valente's YA novel - The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland - this way. She puts up a new chapter every Monday. (although I still prefer print)
Oct. 22nd, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
I need to train myself to read longer pieces. I have a hard time with anything more than a thousand words.
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Oct. 22nd, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
Have you ever considered making an audio version?
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Oct. 22nd, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
Lol, it was just a question :)
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Oct. 22nd, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
I may be wrong, but I think e-zine publication (even one that doesn't pay cashy money) give a little more credibility than just posting something on your own site too.

Thanks for sharing :)
Oct. 22nd, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC)
I've no real problem with reading online. If I had a more comfortable chair in my office, I'd be fine reading even novels on Winchester. (The new monster laptop of 17" Awesomeness, with super kickass screen.)

I think in terms of length, where I run into trouble is distractability. When I'm reading a magazine or book, it's not trivial to flip screens and start playing some online game, or checking my email, etc. That's the kind of ADD behavior that the internet and internet reading encourages. I believe that's the reason why shorter works fare better on the net. The longer your story is, the more likely you are to lose someone to an IM or a new email, or just itchy mouse needing to click and do something else. I suspect its one of the reasons podcasts are popular and enjoyable. You can listen to a podcast of a good story, even while you are playing Bejeweled Blitz on facebook and IMing your friends.
Oct. 22nd, 2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
So what we really need, is an e-reader screen in the toilet :)
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Oct. 22nd, 2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
Do you have an e-reader of some sort?
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Mar. 1st, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
I don't care as much as I used to. But generally, I prefer flash-fic length for each installment. However, each installment can be part of a longer serialized work -- I've very happily read novel-length (or much longer than novel-length, in some cases) serials broken into 500-1000 word chunks. A good index is important here.
Mar. 2nd, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
'A good index is important here'

Hehe, especially for those 120K fantasy epics :)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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