Before THE UNDERWRITING was a novel, it was a 12-part weekly serial published on www.theunderwriting.com. Installments were released each Wednesday, where they were free to read on the browser for 24 hours and then available for purchase as text or audio files through the site. Each installment took about 40 minutes to read, with the vision of giving weary Millennials in office jobs something entertaining to read at their lunch hour, which happened....the site got over 50,000 views from more than 60 countries, mostly at lunch and commuting hours, before the print rights were picked up by Penguin and Michelle converted the story into a proper novel.
Backed by angel investment, the site included custom dj playlists, photography, artwork, weekly brand sponsors and an ESCAPE button that, when hit, would fill a user's screen with boss-proof work-ish looking spreadsheets and emails that were, upon more careful consideration, references to that week's plot developments. Guerilla marketing to spread the word about the series included videos, giveaways and fake Tinder accounts for each of the stories character. By the time of its premiere over 40 people were involved in the production, and Michelle remains deeply indebted to them all for a terrific run.
Michelle remains deliciously excited about the world of serialization and transmedia storytelling, and has spoken on the subject at South by Southwest, the John Adams Institute and on various self-publishing podcasts.