Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on last week’s question! I read all your comments with a lot of interest.
Your responses were split, but leant towards “post any additional material after release, not before”. The general consensus was that most of you would rather learn about the world with the protagonist to avoid spoilers and to preserve the surprise. A minority said that they’d prefer to know as much as possible in advance since anyone who didn’t want to could just not read them, but several made the point that it might be hard to resist spoilers if they were freely available.
So, with this in mind, I think I’m going to go with the following compromise:
As long-time readers will know, I typically put up the first one or two chapters of a new book ahead of its publication – usually 2 to 3 months in advance. I’ll start putting up worldbuilding articles on this site, but only after the first one or two extracts have been released. Specifically, during the pre-release period, I’ll make sure to only put up articles that talk about/expand upon material that’s already been introduced in the available extracts, and which is known to the protagonist. There’ll be some stuff in the worldbuilding articles that isn’t covered in the book, but I’ll try to make sure that nothing in the early articles spoils any of the surprises or plot twists. So for those of you who are reading everything on this blog as it comes out, you’ll get to find out more about concepts as they appear, but you won’t have to worry about reading any spoilers.
So, as far as spoilers go, this’ll shake out as follows:
- People who read everything on this blog as it comes out, both extracts and articles -> no spoilers
- People who read the extracts, but not the articles -> no spoilers
- People who don’t read the extracts, but do read the articles -> mild spoilers, but only of content that’s known to the protagonist already
- People who don’t read either the extracts or the articles -> no spoilers
So the only people who this runs the risk of annoying are people from group 3, who read my weekly blog posts in full but who for whatever reason choose not to read any of the sample chapters/extracts that those same blog posts link to. This feels to me like it should be a pretty small group, but let me know if it describes you!