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I'm writing a detective story set halfway between San Francisco and the internet. And the more people who reserve a copy, the better each one will be!
I'm writing a detective story set halfway between San Francisco and the internet. And the more people who reserve a copy, the better each one will be!
570 backers pledged $13,942 to help bring this project to life.

Final hours and first glimpses

It's done!
Whew—I can't even tell you how much better the story is today than it was a week ago. Almost every graf has been touched. Every chapter has been improved. Some sections have been completely rewritten.

And the ending! is! totally! different!

Now the clock is running down. It hits zero at midnight tomorrow (yes, Halloween, naturally) but there's not a ton of drama to it. Thanks to you—backers and patrons and ultimate ninjas alike—this project has been a huge, amazing success.

There's still a lot of work to do... work that involves, like, paper and paint and postage. But the essential core—the part where I, you know, write a book—is now complete.

There's a little video thank-you at the end of this update, but first, for your amusement, here are some snapshots of the feedback I got on the manuscript. If you are supremely spoiler-wary, then you should probably skip down to the video. But don't worry too much; these are glimpses, not giveaways.

So, this is definitely how you want to kick things off...

...but not, alas, how you want to end them:

"It's a cool idea... but it's v. unsatisfying." Ack! (I fixed that.) (I think.)

Sometimes you go a bit overboard and get compared to the "Saw" movies...

(How right was that note, by the way? Ditched the image.)

Conversely, sometimes you don't go far enough:

Sometimes you hit a little too close to home:

And sometimes—warning, this is sort of a mega-glimpse—you are encouraged to, er, reorganize... just... slightly:

(Those notes look like IKEA instructions.)

Finally, this might be my single favorite note. "IT CAN FEEL???"

Okay—now, a quick video. You're not going to hear from me again before the clock hits zero, so again: Thank you. There is great fun ahead.


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    1. mikeho on

      woo hoo... now we need a progress bar on everyone providing their shipping addresses and patron acknowledgments..

    2. Nora George on

      Rslo: Always knew you are a world-beater; this is inspiring and awesome and changing the game. Proud of ya!

    3. BREA CALI on

      Congrats - I am looking forward to the next step! It has been so great to watch and experience this entire process.

    4. Will Hutchinson on

      Robin - It was truly a pleasure watching this project come together. If the book provides even half the entertainment that the blog did, well, it will be a success for me. Your joy in the process and with the product is palpable and I appreciate you letting me feel like I am a part of it. That is a special list you got there.

      Per one of the above comments, would additional contributions be useful in the production of the book?

      Thanks again,

    5. Michael Brewster on

      it's been fun to watch this all take shape, certainly the most interactive writing has been for me except on my own keyboard... hope this is a start of something extraordinary.

    6. Amy Wilson on

      This is all so much better than the "traditional" writer/reader relationship. You have made Being a Fan way more fun- way more alive- than the usual ho-hum. Book fair appearance? Website? Tour of the same eight major cities? Laaaame. Video updates and remix challenges and handwritten notes and internet clues? Oh my. Happy Birthday, Annabel Scheme!

    7. Saheli on

      I was frightened of spoilers, but I happily discovered that I could enjoy this whole post (except for video and commenting) on my Blackberry, getting the gist of the image without the text of the image. Point one, mobile blog reader.

      Many, many congratulations amigo. I think the fact that I am as excited as I am (I still can't believe I *dreamt* about Anabelle Scheme last night, and I haven't even gotten to know her very well!) is a testament to your creating this participatory process. I can't wait to see where it goes next.

      (Yeah, that's right people, one of us has to pull this trick off now, with new bells and whistles. We can't just leave it here as a one-off. So get cracking.)

    8. Missing avatar

      Aaron Mcleran on

      BTW -- You didn't say you were going to post our comments ONLINE! My handwriting is TERRIBLE! I would have tried harder to write neat. I once spent every afternoon working on my penmanship for drafting classes. That all went to hell. Though I do think it is interesting how absolutely impatient I get when I write with a pen. It's like, "damn it, thoughts get on the paper!" It's because my typing is close to my the speed of my thought, so writing by hand is just painful... :[

    9. Missing avatar

      Aaron Mcleran on

      So excited Sloan... can't wait to see what you wrought!

    10. Missing avatar

      Shaun Phillips on

      I think this will be the first cup smashing of many more to come! Congrats Robin. Can't wait to see the final product and lose an afternoon or two in the book.

    11. Dylan Beadle on

      I think it would be a cool way for us to demonstrate our thanks by upping our pledges in the last 24 hours! (click on "Manage pledge" on the top right)

      Thank YOU for the great ride (so far!)

    12. Robin Sloan Creator on

      @Dave, and all others: Yes. Yes. I see it now. "IT CAN FEEL!!!" = new secret greeting. If you ever see me on the street, or at a book signing, or on the Oprah episode about "New Writers, New Patrons," just stand up and shout that, and I'll shout it back, and everybody will know we're in on something together.

    13. Betty Ann Sloan on

      Whoah. Soooooo exciting. Octave Erdos ... oh yeah. Jai ho!

    14. Rod Begbie on

      The phrase "early 00s Beatles"?


      Can't wait to read the rest of the words!

    15. Missing avatar

      Jason Black on

      Thanks, Robin! Seeing the pics and being reminded of how cool it is to be in at the beginning makes, as it happens, a really nice birthday present. Thanks!

      Your comment that we don't know where we'll be in 1,2,5,10 years is also thought-provoking. Maybe at thost time periods, you should do some sort of virtual class reunion thing to explore that question.

    16. Rod Naber on

      Congrats, Sloan! Nicely done. I agree... this process has been amazing and really fun to watch. Can't wait for my book!

    17. Offbeatmammal on

      It's been an absolute pleasure to be part of this process - to see glimpses behind the scenes, to see and hear teasers along the way ... and to think that it's the start of something bigger is even more excited.

      I hope you enjoy your well earned day of rest ... but I know I'll be watching the post for the fruits of your labor with eager anticipation