My father pointed out this article online in Colorado Country Life, called In the Pages of Crystal Moon. It's about an innovative sci-fi/fantasy writer named Phillip E. Jones, author of Crystal Moon: World of Grayham, who has re-thought the editing and publishing process of his new book. Jones is inviting readers, mainly from high schools, to help him edit and improve his novel. The third edition of Crystal Moon, due out this month, is said to be even better than the first edition, and that is because Jones has been taking the high-schoolers' comments and using them to rewrite his book. Jones self-published the first edition of his book, printing 1,000 copies, and sold them to book stores. With no writing background, he encouraged suggestions, and in the third edition of his book he used approximately 1,400 of the comments he received from readers.
This sounds like a pretty cool process to me, although maybe not for everyone because I'm guessing the printing expenses were quite hefty. But kudos to Mr. Jones for taking a different approach to getting his words out there. The best part is that he seems to be getting young readers excited and involved in the editing process. The article goes on to say that Scott Boshazy, a composition teacher based in Nevada, bought 176 copies of Crystal Moon for his students, whom he named "Jones' editing team". Being editors to Jones' book has made them excited to read book number two and I can imagine, has given them a new appreciation for writers.
I think this is a great idea for all teachers to pick up and utilize - and a new approach for writers not wanting to join a traditional writing group. It must be so cool for those kids to get their feedback taken seriously and to see their suggestions put into print! And a good marketing tool for Mr. Jones as well, because now I'm curious, as I'm sure are others, to read his books!