Crowdsourcing? by Susan Lute

Here’s something I haven’t heard of before. Crowdsourcing. Have any of you heard of this unique way of gathering solutions to problems?

I recently read an article by Ashley McConnell (I’m sorry I don’t have a link, but here’s her website), for The NINC Binder: A Comprehensive Guide to the New World of Publishing, titled, Crowdsourcing: In the Crowd, or Leading It?

Crowdsourcing is essentially, according to Wikipedia, an open call for contributions to solve a specific problem, or leveraging mass collaboration to achieve a business goal.

Making use of group intelligence sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? But how does it apply to novels? According to McConnell, Penguin and Avon Books have both tried crowdsourcing a novel – inviting anyone who’s interested to contribute plot line ideas. You can check that out at

Perhaps more importantly, McConnell also postulates crowdsourcing is about creating a community. Which sounds a little like making street teams. Author Lawrence Watt-Evans’ website, the World of Ethshar is a good example of how he used crowdsourcing tools to develop his community.

All very interesting. Another option to explore on our publishing journey.

By the way, The NINC Binder is a must have for any author on the writer’s path. Thanks to Susan Fox Lyons for bringing it to our attention.

 So in the spirit of crowdsourcing, what kind of posts would you like to see on See Jane Publish? What kind of information can we bring you? Do you think it would be interesting, or fun, in fact, to have input into a story plot line? This curious Jane wants to know.


About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on February 19, 2012, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thanks Jamie 🙂 I think we are a nice blend here at SJP, but I’d also like to know what folks are interested in ‘seeing’. In the way of personal blogs, my story…writing journey…is about to take a right turn. I’ll share as soon as I can. It’s not a contract, lol, but a little surprising, nonetheless.


  2. I love your voice, too, and you always hit the right notes. As I scanned my list of blogs I subscibe to, I noticed that they are divided between informational blogs and personal story type blogs. The latter tends to get more visits / comments. Have a great writing week, Su!


  3. Hi Jenny, I like the idea that crowdsourcing started out as a technical problem solving tool, and is now possibly evolving into something else. It might stray from good story telling, but can you imagine a roomful of brainstorming for one story? Many ideas. Some work. Some don’t. That would be up to the writer, the final crafter of the story, the same way it happens now. Anyway…lol. I’m a big dreamer, aren’t I?

    Thanks for coming to visit! It’s always wonderful to ‘see’ you.


  4. I know crowdsourcing from my IT husband…when it comes to novels, I agree it’s an interesting application, but I wonder if it strays away from a good story well told to more of a gimmick. I suppose the proof would be in the final product.

    As for your blog posts, I can’t imagine improvement! I love your voice and am always happy to see new posts crop up in my inbox 🙂


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