The Email Novel

Novelist Michael Betcherman and his co-author David Diamond are emailing their novel to readers, installment by installment.

I’m a Toronto writer and co-author of The Daughters of Freya, a
groundbreaking mystery/thriller that has been receiving a lot of
favourable media attention (including a feature in today’s Newsday),
and which I hope you’ll consider writing about.

The project involves a new way of publishing on the Internet. The story
itself – about a journalist investigating a sex cult in Marin County –
unfolds through emails exchanged among the characters. But instead of
reading them in a book, readers get them as part of their regular email
– 4-5 a day over the three weeks it takes for the mystery to unfold.
It’s a modern version of the serialized novels popularized by Dickens,
with the same built-in element of suspense – readers can’t turn a page
to find out what happens next, they have to wait for the next email to

The project mirrors the way people actually use the Internet: readers
open an email – and read an email. And just like regular email, ours
link to external sites, ones we’ve created specifically for the
project, with newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, and other
content, that is part of the mystery.

Betcherman and Diamond told Newsday  that they thought the format was one of the best ways for unknown authors to break into the market.

Convinced that a big-time publisher would never bite at a debut novel from two literary novices, co-authors Michael Betcherman and David Diamond took "The Daughters of Freya," a mystery centered around a California sex cult, directly to cyberspace, giving readers quick, cheap access to their tale.

See also "Shorter is Better" (SMS novels).

Technorati Tag(s) – books.


2 responses to “The Email Novel

  1. I read this and loved it. i’ve given to a couple of friends and they’re enjoying it too. these guys aren’t selling a book, they’re selling an experience

  2. E-mail stories are becoming more commonplace with bits and bobs being exposed day after day.

    One that has been running for a few months and keeps updating is at

    Interesting to see how the net is being used to spread work by authors.

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