Fantasy writer Neil Gaiman is writing a new crowd-sourced short story on Twitter. Starting tomorrow at noon EDT, the author—and well-known Twitter fan (@neilhimself)—will Tweet the first line of a new story, and fans can continue it with their own 140-character contributions. BBC Audiobooks America will then compile the contributions—they expect about 1,000—into a short story that will be recorded by a professional narrator. The audiobook will be available for free download at BBCAudiobooksAmerica.com/trade and at iTunes and other audiobook retailers before the end of the year. There are no plans to release the story in print.
Michele Lee Cobb, marketing director for BBC Audiobooks America, said the project is “a fantastic way to get more people excited and actively engaging with audiobooks.” Cobb said BBC was inspired to initiate the project following Britain’s Royal Opera House successful creation of a fan-twittered opera last month. “There’s a misconception still that audiobooks are only for a small, elite niche of book lovers and we want to explode that myth and tap into the possibilities of digital storytelling in a whole new way,” Cobb said.
To contribute, fans should follow @BBCAA and Tweet with the hashtag #bbcawdio. Official participation rules and a legal waiver are posted on the BBCAA blog.