WWW Web Books ??

Subj: WWW Web Books ??
Date: 11/12/95
To: Jomaxsolo

If'n I wuz a riter this would be interesting...

Date:	23 Oct 1995 14:47:55 -0400
From:	jwrawles@aol.com (Jwrawles)
Sender:	root@newsbf02.news.aol.com
Newsgroups:	misc.writing
Subject:	"Web Books" -  New Trend for the W. W. Web

It had to happen sooner or later.  The World Wide Web has a new wrinkle:
"Web Books."  Authors around the globe are now poised to launch their
fiction and non-fiction manuscripts into cyberspace.  Within a few years
there may be more new books offered on the Internet than on the shelves
 of your local book store.

Its is anticipated that most Web Books will be sold as "shareware." 
Readers can log on to a web site, download complete books to their hard
disk free of charge, and then either read them on their computer screens
or print out a hard copy.  Just like with software that has been sold as
shareware, if a reader finds it useful, they can send payment directly 
to the author.  Typically, authors ask for $5 from their readers.  
Shareware payments are voluntary, and it is difficult to estimate how
many readers will actually pay post facto for a book that they enjoyed 

However, if a Web Book should become the Internet equivalent of a best
seller, there is the prospect for considerable profit.  For example, 
even if just 2% of a Internet readership of 500,000 sends in $5 checks 
to an author, he would still receive $50,000 for his efforts. 

One Web Book that has recently attracted considerable attention by
browsers of the Internet is a novel titled  The Gray Nineties  by Jim
Rawles.  His was one of the first novels to be distributed via the World
Wide Web, and is a hot topic of discussion in several Internet news
groups.  His novel is a piece of speculative fiction that follows a
survivalist group through the dark days of a devastating stock market
crash, subsequent socio-economic collapse, and its aftermath.  Rawles is
an Idaho-based freelance writer.  He formerly served as a U.S. Army
intelligence officer, and was an associate editor of Defense Electronics

"I doubt that I was the first to come up with the idea of a shareware
novel on the Internet," Rawles said, "but I certainly won't be the 

He said that he was surprised by how much response he has had for The 
Gray Nineties. "Every morning my e-mail [electronic mail] box is full of
letters with comments from people around the world who have read The 
Gray Nineties. It is simply astounding. I get e-mail letters from all 
over the United States, England, Switzerland, Finland, Australia, you 
name it." 

The Internet is a likely venue for novels or non-fiction books with
unusual or controversial subjects.  Some authors, like Jim Rawles, have
had trouble selling their manuscripts to mainstream publishing firms
because their books are controversial or considered politically 

Rawles said: "Most publishing houses are located on the east coast and
are dominated by editors that have a traditional eastern liberal
viewpoint.  They wouldn't touch a novel like the Gray Nineties.  It is 
so politically incorrect.  Lets face it.  This novel is pro-family,
pro-Christianity, pro-preparedness, pro-gun ownership, pro-hunting,
pro-militia, and pro-hard currency.  At the same time, it is anti-big
government, anti-racist, and anti-urban.  I realized that it didn't have

a chance with the big eastern printing houses, so I decided to sell it 
as shareware, via the Internet.  I hadn't heard of anyone previously 
using a web site for direct sales of a novel as shareware.  I just 
dreamed it up and decided to give it a shot."

Following the rapid success of The Gray Nineties, dozens of other
shareware novels and non-fiction books are expected to pop up on web 
sites around the world in coming months.  While some fear that the World

Wide Web could become the home of a lot of poorly written "schlocky"
manuscripts, others are more hopeful.  They contend that the "no holds
barred" free exchange of ideas that typifies the various Internet news
groups could be enhanced by the advent of full length Web Books.  Jim
Rawles summed up the latter position: "The Internet is on the cutting 
edge of social and political debate.  Among the Web Books in the next 
few years will be real some landmarks in publishing history."     

Any readers who are interested in getting a free look at the full text 
of a Web novel with hypertext links between chapters can find The Gray
Nineties at:

Your comments/flames on the novel are welcome.

James W. Rawles
c/o P.O. Box 2289
Orofino, Idaho PZ 83544
voice:  (208) 476-4440
e-mail: Jwrawles@aol.com

Later Dude - El Polvo :-{D

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