Writer N. Frank Daniels should be on top of the world. This week, Harper Perennial finally began distributing his Web-based book, Futureproof, nationally.
I say finally because it's been a long time coming for Daniels, who published Futureproof on his own via the Web several years ago. He essentially did what many DIY artists and bands have been trying to do: harness the power of online community. With a grassroots effort on his blog and MySpace page, Daniels developed a network of fellow off-the-radar writers and their fans. According to Daniels:
MySpace's network of writers banding together to promote and sell their books is a crucial tool in reaching an ever-expanding audience. With its millions of prospective readers and co-promoters, MySpace is making this democratized version of what is not only published but read a new force to deal with in the information age.
It certainly brought attention to his coming-of-age story, which centers around Luke, a high school drop-out, and his friends as they navigate the streets of Atlanta. And now that he's found a mainstream distribution channel, it's interesting to read past entries on his blog about everything from his vision for his book and its Web presence to dealing with publishers who seemed only to be interested in an easily marketable or plot-driven novel as opposed to the kind of story he created.