Some three months ago we had a look, you and I, at Tom Evslin's novel and web site and bells and whistles under the name Hackoff.com. I decided then that it was all a bit alarmingly high-tec for me. But Tom Evslin is the former head of a dot.com company, so it's to be expected.
Since October Tom has gone on developing his basic idea. Go to the Dothill Press web site and you will see that he has recruited one Kelly Evans to handle the administration. It seems that he is publishing his novel Hackoff.com first via a blog, then via podcast and finally via hardcover in the first quarter of 2006.
The same site outlines detailed plans for organising a 'blook tour' for the book, and presumably, for other books by other authors. And the Links link gives you a means of moving from Dothill to various associated sites. And the Amazon.com page for the book is definitely worth looking at.
It's all pretty dazzling stuff, even if they can't spell advice, and even if the font size is definitely on the small side for elderly eyes. This is evidently the way to go if you're tech-savvy and have enough money to do it. But will it succeed in terms of the bottom line? Let's hope we get to find out, though ventures which don't turn out to be profitable usually have a veil thrown rapidly over them.
We now have a number of authors, Val Landi being another example, who are well familiar with the business and technology worlds, and who are pretty much convinced that publishers are an unnecessary link -- one might almost say an obstacle -- between an author and the public. I suspect that this is much more true of non-fiction than of fiction, but time will tell.