What if you wrote a novel as a blog, for the whole world to read free of charge, chapter by chapter?
What if it became popular enough to attract sponsors, or to deal out the sequels as hardbound books?
What if it was completely ignored?
What if it meant you could never see it in print on a library shelf, ever?
Might be a really dumb book marketing idea if you’re looking to capitalize right away, but it sounds like fun as a breakthrough author marketing platform. In the 1800’s, serial novels were popular features in magazines and newspapers, with a huge following, distinct from the crowd who bought novels from bookstores.
Why aren’t more authors, especially unknown authors, pursuing this option in the Internet age?
Update: Check out this article on serial fiction, and how it’s changing the publishing world. It doesn’t address the idea of giving away a good story free of charge, but it does spell out the commercial prospects if you work with a digital publisher.