Twitter as Publisher?

Ok, I’m about done with talking about Twitter, but in searching for publishing news today I ran across this gem:

US writer publishing novel a ‘tweet’ at a time

WASHINGTON (AFP) — An American writer who has yet to find a publisher for his novel is putting the book on Twitter — 140 characters at a time.

Matt Stewart, a San Francisco-based novelist, began “tweeting” his first book, “The French Revolution,” on the micro-blogging service on Tuesday — appropriately Bastille Day.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t even begin to imagine reading a full-length novel 140 characters at a time.

Astonishingly, he had an agent who he says submitted to all the major publishers, but none of them wanted to go out on a limb for what they thought was a ‘risky’ novel. Go figure.

“Many of them loved it, but none were willing to buy what they viewed as a ‘risky’ novel — vivid language, elements of fantasy and farce, raunchy humor,” he said.

Stewart said it would take approximately 3,700 “tweets” to transmit all of the 480,000 characters in his book.

Raunchy humor. Farce. Fantasy. Sounds like he should have tried shopping it to Hollywood for Ben Stiller’s next movie. However if you find you simply must read this thing, it can be had for $1.99 for your Kindle, or free at

7 thoughts on “Twitter as Publisher?

  1. 37,000 tweets – Let’s see, assuming he could post as many as 5 tweets a day and a person could get to all of ’em (maybe a grad student or semi-employed person could make time,) that’d mean it would take 7400 days, or over 20 years to read the thing.

    Non, merci!


  2. Lucky for him, it’s actually only 3429 tweets, for 480,000 characters. That would be something less than two years. Even still, it’s too obnoxious to contemplate.


    1. can you tell I never took any math after the 11th grade? Still, 2 years is more than I have time for…


    1. “Hehe! I think you just added a zero to the 3700”

      I do that all the damn time. When I’m counting $$, I nearly always catch myself, because I know that a club sandwich w/fries isn’t going to cost $7,950.00, but when it’s a concept I’m not used to working w/, like number of Tweets per year, all my mental short cuts turn into short circuits. Wish I could be like that student in my summer school class – the best writer in the class by far- who told me today that his first love is math, although he wants to double major in mathematics and theater. How can you not love a kid like that?


  3. I have discalcula, which sounds like it could be part of what you have. I tend to transpose numbers, so I have to be really careful writing down phone numbers, etc. I don’t do it with words, only numbers. I’ve known a couple other people in my life who do the same thing. I wish I was good at math, but that part of my brain never seems to have fired up.


  4. I don’t quite transpose them so much as I drop ’em when I shouldn’t, and sometimes include them where they don’t belong. Under pressure I do OK (all my standardized test scores indicate I’m better than average @ that shit) but if I can’t fit something into a sentence or a narrative, I have a hard time keeping it straight.

    The spring before I started college, they put all the incoming freshman in a big room and and had us take this test that was supposed to determine our math placement: i.e. what math class you would take, if you wanted to take it your first semester (as you know, I declined.) Let me tell you, this test had symbols I couldn’t identify, and questions I could NOT BEGIN to know how to answer; they may as well have been testing me for my Chinese placement. The results came back telling me that I was ready for college calculus, even though I had not taken the class our high school referred to as “pre-calculus.” I don’t know if they just needed to fill up a few empty classrooms, or if it was a real thin year for mathemeticians, or what! 😉


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