Digg’ll Get You Noticed, But Will It Sell Books?

By Neal Comment

sheehan-miles-republic.jpgFor New Year’s Day, Charles Sheehan-Miles skipped the resolutions and went straight for the action and started giving away his latest novel online. “No more sample chapters, partial books that end in the middle, none of that,” he declared—and then he got a lot of attention, fast—most prominently, perhaps, more than 1,100 citations by Digg users, enough to put him on the site’s front page.

That got him even more notice around the blogosphere, although the impact on sales for Republic won’t be nearly as easy to measure in the short run. “Of course, the real test is not today, but next week, next month, and the next year,” Sheehan-Miles admits, waiting to see if all those downloads will lead to actual sales. Still, as various observers have said in one form or another, he’ll have more marketing options as a recognized author than he will as an unknown.

(Of course, this is a promotional tactic GalleyCat readers will readily recognize, since we’ve described earlier efforts by writers like Peter Watts and Nick Mamatas. I’m still looking forward, though, to the day when a novelist recognized by the literary establishment as one of their own, rather than a genre author, chooses this path—unless somebody’s already done that and I missed it?)