When I was writing my novel, Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary, posting the rough chapters online, I received some wonderfully positive, encouraging feedback.
One reader wrote, "this is so good, I can't believe you're showing it for free. I would pay to read this story." Another wrote, "I love it. I can't wait for the finished product."
One woman, from Brazil, told me how she loved the story and had hopes for a particular ending. She felt a close connection to two of the main characters, and I was so moved by her e-mail message that I dedicated the following chapter to her.
You folks are awesome. Thanks for your support.
Now that I've begun the sequel, Gyeosunim, I have started hearing similar encouragement. One of my Twitter followers, who had won a copy of Songsaengnim and didn't seem to know that I had posted the rough-drafted chapters of it online, was confused as to why I would post these new chapters online, for free.
For those of you who hadn't read my first book this way, let me tell you: I do it for your help.
Knowing that you're reading my rough drafts encourages me to continue writing, to not stop. Because, just as I get worried that a lull in blog posts on The Brown Knowser will turn you away from it, I feel that not posting chapters of my writing will turn you away, and then I will write less and less often, and I'll go months, or longer, without getting this book completed.
Why do I do it for free? Because, as with Songsaengnim, the final copy, the one that will be printed, will be different from what you read online. Those of you few who bought the first version of Songsaengnim, when I made it available from my blog site or from Amazon (USA) have a different version than the printed version that is now available on Amazon (Canada), or through Chapters-Indigo, or from Barnes & Noble, or from Kobo. My publishing company helped me polish the final version: some characters were changed, others removed entirely. Some material was added; other material was cut.
So, the version of Gyeosunim that is available to read "for free" now is not the version that will ultimately appear in print.
Read the rough draft. Send me your comments, your words of encouragement or words of criticism, and keep me writing. And, when I've finished, re-worked, and polished the rough draft, buy the final product.