MeCCSA Postgraduate Conference
Later published as a journal article: Skains, R. Lyle. 2010. “The Shifting Author-Reader Dynamic: Online Novel Communities as a Bridge from Print to Digital Literature.” Convergence 16 (1): 95–111. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856509347713.
In this digital age, readers are turning to online outlets in an effort to prolong the experience of reading a beloved novel. This paper looks at the websites created and maintained by the authors themselves, which delve deeper into the world of novel and novelist, offering fans interaction with both the author and other readers, as well as an extension of the novel’s world through games and additional materials. These online novel communities are models of a bridge between print and digital storytelling conventions. They create a new dynamic between author, text, and reader; no longer is the communication of fiction a one-way street. Rather, these communities provide a space for discourse between author and reader, opportunities for readers to influence and form the texts the author is creating, and reader-contributed material in the form of fan fiction and games. The digital format of these communities also introduces the print-oriented reader to digital storytelling elements such as online games, multimedia, and hypertext. This paper uses two communities as models: NeilGaiman.com and JasperFforde.com. It examines the discourse between these bestselling fantasy authors and their readers, reader contributions on the sites, the unique author-reader dynamic created through these interactions, and how these sites introduce readers to digital storytelling conventions.
Cite as: Skains, R. Lyle. 2009. “The Shifting Author-Reader Dynamic: Online Novel Communities as a Bridge from Print to Digital Literature.” In MeCCSA Postgraduate Conference, Bangor University, 9 July 2009. Bangor, Wales, UK.