As long-time readers of this site may remember, back in the early days of the Alex Verus series, I put up a series of articles that I called the Encyclopaedia Arcana: a sequence of worldbuilding entries about the Alex Verus setting, detailing its society, magic system, and so on. Encyclopaedia entries made up much of the blog around 2012-2013, but their frequency trailed off as more and more topics were covered, and they eventually ended up getting replaced by the Ask Luna column instead. But the Encyclopaedia still ran pretty long – 62 entries, which is more than a year’s worth of posts.
I’m going to do a similar series of articles for my new Inheritance of Magic series this year, covering the world, politics, groups, magic, and history of the new setting. What I haven’t yet decided is when to put them up. Option one is to start doing them several months in advance of the book’s release; option two is to start putting them up when the first book comes out in October.
I’m currently leaning towards option one (putting them up in advance) since it’ll give readers the chance to get used to the setting and give them some idea of what to expect from the story. On the other hand, book 1 is specifically designed as an introduction to the world and explains everything from scratch. Also, the main character starts out relatively ignorant of many aspects of the magical world, and the reader learns about it as he does, meaning that writing a detailed guide to the world might spoil the surprise a bit.
So I’ve decided to do an unscientific write-in poll on the subject. Based on what I’ve said so far, leave a comment or Tweet telling me whether you think you’d prefer to have this kind of worldbuilding material available before the release of the book, or after. I’ll listen to the responses and take it into account when I’m planning my posting schedule for the summer and autumn.