I’ve posted before on how tablet and kindle are changing reading, and how fan fiction is changing writing. The WSJ has another good example of how writing is changing, when it describes how Seth Godin used Kickstarter to estimate demand for his latest books.
Mr. Godin began his publishing experiment in June on Kickstarter, a website that enables people to solicit funds from individual investors. Before agreeing to his new deal with Portfolio, an imprint of Pearson PLC’s Penguin Group, Mr. Godin hoped to gauge interest from readers in the three new projects he had in mind. To potential backers, he presented a variety of pledge packages—that is, different levels of financial support for the projects bring perks for individuals, such as previews of the books and copies autographed by the author.
The two way interaction between writers and readers that the internet enables is allowing more real time feedback that can actually affect the book. We see exactly the same behavior, more systematically organized, at wattpad.
It makes sense that user feedback can change a writers direction, just as it does all the time for bloggers and web publishers.