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The Washington Post Goes Serial

For the first time in its history, the Washington Post will be serializing fiction – specifically, business reporter David Hilzenrath‘s debut novel JEZEBEL’S TOMB, a biblical mystery featuring a journalist who investigates a bombing and tries to track down a mysterious 2,000-year-old document that may hold a dangerous secret. Comparisons to THE DA VINCI CODE are inevitable. Hilzenrath researched the novel in the United States and the Middle East over 10 years and completed a draft in early 2003. After he was turned down by publishers repeatedly in 2005, “a light bulb went on,” said Hilzenrath, 41, a 19-year Post veteran. “There’s a better way: Use the power of the Web for promotion and the power of on-demand publishing to reduce the upfront cost,” he said.*

Washingtonpost.com Executive Editor Jim Brady called the experiment an “intriguing notion” and said the novel clearly would be labeled as fiction, to differentiate it from the site’s journalism. The book will also be available for purchase through print-on-demand publisher Lulu.com.

*Or, you know, rewrite it to death or start a new book, but hey, shortcuts are shortcuts, especially with this much fanfare…

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