Facebook as Weapon will become available in some bookstores next week, becoming the first book originally published serially on the social network and debuting in print thereafter.
Journalist-turned-novelist Ivo Scepanovic’s literary experiment planned all along to eventually publish his book in print. His page on the social network allowed people to comment on Facebook as Weapon, and he modified the plot based on their suggestions. However, he wrote it all in Croatian, which has left a lot of people out of the experiment.
It’s unclear what the print format of the book will look like, or whether it will get translated into other languages. The novelty of the whole endeavor will probably attract curious buyers regardless of whether they can actually understand the words on the page or not.
And the person who commented the most on the novel in progress received an offer to write the next installment in what will become a series, according to U.K. newspaper The Metro.
Although the use of Facebook to create a collaborative piece of literature might indeed be original, neither collaborative nor episodic writing is innovative; co-authorships have always been part of iterature, and serialized novels are at least as old as Charles Dickens and Alexandre Dumas, who published episodes of their novels in magazines first.
Facebook as Weapon portrays a Russian girl living in Croatia and plotting revenge against the people who bullied hert; they tease her because she opposes using smartphones or an iPad, and so now she plans to use Facebook to get back at them.
Regardless of the quality of the novel, do you think an experiment like this will be well received in literary circles? Would you buy a copy if it were available in English?