Bay Area Author Turns to Twitter

Matt Stewart uses Twitter to publish debut novel

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet. How many tweets does it take to publish an entire novel on Twitter? For Bay Area resident Matt Stewart, the answer is 3,700.

While many have used Twitter to publish poetry and pose, Stewart, self-proclaimed “writer, novelist [and] lover of life,” is one of the first to release a complete novel via the social network.

Stewart started tweeting his debut novel "The French Revolution" on July 14 using a program that automatically breaks his book into 140-character tweets. He began publishing tweets every 15 minutes, but has since slowed and expects the entire novel to be tweeted by mid-August.

The novel explores the identity crisis of the French Revolution through a modern-day San Franciscan family.

Stewart views his use of Twitter as a social experiment. “I wanted to get my novel out fast and in a way that’ll resonate with the hyperconnected 2009 way of life,” he said. The French Revolution has 972 followers.

Stewart admits that Twitter is not the easiest way to read a book.

“I don’t think anybody’ll weed through all my tweets,” he said. But, “reading a few lines via Twitter is a cool and easy way… to give this book a test drive.”

Readers who aren’t Twitter-savvy can purchase the book for $1.99 on PDF or view it for free on Stewart’s website

The author is already working on his next novel, "Duct Tape," about a homeless man in search of his imaginary son.

An earlier version of this story reported that Stewart's novel was the first to be published on Twitter. NBC Bay Area cannot verify that claim, which appears to be false.

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