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Serial or Series
S. T. Collier
Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2015 7:19 AM
Joined: 6/4/2013
Posts: 35

Just read that Amazon has set-up and running kindle serials because they feel that readers are more on the go these days.

how do other feel about this approach to writing and can it work in telling a gripping story.

Jay Greenstein
Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2015 9:58 PM

Simple answer: How many serials have you bought in the past year? How many of your friends have bought one? If the answer is none, there's your market.


When you buy any novel it is a serial. You pick it up, read till you have something else to do, and come back later. The only difference between that and buying a serial, one chunk at a time, is that serials are inconvenient because they stop you from reading, and make you jump through a hoop to get the next piece.


Kindle doesn't sell self-published work, you do. People only end up on your page because you sent them there. And no one is going to get there, read your excerpt and like it, and then say, "I won't buy it because I only want to read a little at a time, so I need a serial, not a novel."


 No one.


Write a story that grabs the reader by the throat on page one and doesn't let go. Tricks like chopping it into chunks  don't negate the need for that, or improve the writing.

--edited by Jay Greenstein on 2/19/2015, 11:26 PM--

Elizabeth Moon
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2015 2:48 PM
Joined: 6/14/2012
Posts: 195

That being said, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller successfully crowd-funded (before that was a known phrase)  some of their very popular Liaden stories posting chapters when they had received X dollars.


They already had a fan base; publishing disasters (including the collapse of a small press) interrupted their career, and this was a desperation move--that worked for them.   


Here's a post describing their initial crowd-funding experiment:



Here's a post describing their current status with mixing trad and self-publishing, including a Patreon account:



IF you have a fan base really hungry for your work, and IF you have a connection with that fan base built up online over the years, then serial publishing can definitely work for you.   It's a tight-wire existence, though (well...fiction writer is a tight-wire existence anyway...not Lee's comments on the tax laws as they related to unpredictable income.  Been there, have the T-shirt.)


If you're just starting out, serial publishing is even iffier than this...though some writers (no cite at this point) have begun with a regular publication of short stuff--something readers can depend on (every
Thursday there's another story) until they built up a fan base interested in their work.  Another hint though--the really adhesive readers--the kind you need to succeed--get glued to characters or settings primarily.   Lee & Miller's Liaden stories are a perfect example.  If you're addicted to them, it's because of Val Con and Miri, Daav and Ailleana, Shan and Priscilla, and Pat Rin and Natesa, and that Tree.  Especially the Tree.   And a host of very adhesive secondary characters you can't get out of your mind. 


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