This Story Is Being Published One Tweet At A Time

We all know that attention spans are shrinking and traditional book sales are declining, but are we really at the point where people want to read a book posted one tweet at a time?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan is counting on it – and plans to begin publishing her newest novel, Black Box, on Twitter this week.

The story was written for Twitter and fits neatly into the 140 character limit per tweet.

“This is not a new idea, of course, but it’s a rich one — because of the intimacy of reaching people through their phones, and because of the odd poetry that can happen in 140 characters,” she said in a New Yorker post about the experiment.

It was scheduled to begin appearing on the New Yorker Fiction Twitter account tonight at 8 p.m. ET, but was a little delayed and began about 10 minutes late. The story consists of a series of terse mental dispatches from a female spy of the future, working undercover by the Mediterranean Sea. And it’s very good.

One line is tweeted each minute for one hour, with this story hour repeating every night from 8-9 p.m. ET through June 2. But don’t tune in unless you have an hour to spare because you won’t be able to stop reading.

Do you like the idea? Would you like to see more stories published this way?

(Book image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.
Publish date: May 24, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT