1. Chris Dinkel
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    Chris Dinkel Banned

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    Serial publishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Chris Dinkel, Jan 28, 2013.

    I'm considering releasing my upcoming novel serially via my website The Edge of Existence. The novel, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi piece, would be released chapter by chapter (maybe one a week?).

    What do you think of that idea? Would it make sense to release a novel like a weekly TV show, or just the traditional way? Would you remember to sign in and read newly posted chapters if you were reading it? Would you be able to keep interest?

    Some people like to sit down and read for hours...others only have a short amount of time. These are the two factors at play in this decision.

    Let me know what you think!
     
  2. PhilipJLeae
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    PhilipJLeae New Member

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    Let me just start off by saying, serial publishing? Great name for something :)

    I think it'd really depend on the audience. Some might not mind waiting a week, but, in my case, I definitely would NOT be patient enough, haha. If you are going to post it chapter by chapter, you should do it Bi-weekly. Even do half a chapter (if they're a bit longer) Bi-weekly. If you haven't already tried (at least) a couple times with a publisher, you should do that first, because ya never know. It took JK Rowling thirteen tries and uh... sorry I don't know anymore examples.

    But, there's my two cents. Hope I could help *Smiley face*
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think I'd like it much. I used to subscribe to Analog magazine (I just recently restarted the subscription after about thirty-five years!), which publishes science fiction novels in serial form, and I always used to wait until all the installments had arrived before reading the serial. I don't like being forced to wait, I guess. I want to read at my own pace, not at a pace imposed by someone else - even if that someone else is the author.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I would hate it. Say your book has 20 chapters. That's 20 weeks I have to spend on one book. Thanks, but no thanks.
     
  5. Sved
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    Sved Senior Member

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    There is also a risk of not being able to follow through. I'm still waiting for Stephen King to finish his serial publishing......
     
  6. AndyB
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    AndyB Member

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    It would be no different to watching chapter plays in the early days of cinema so could work but as minstrelsaid and thirdwind echoed patience is a virtue and once you finish chapter one you want to read chapter two.


    My scifi that I'm writing has had its first two chapters shared quite extensively on the fan forum the i started writing it for and facebook and i can tell you from personal experience if they like it they will be asking for the next chapter before it is ready and messaging you every day like kids in a car saying 'are we there yet?' every five minutes.


    depends how you are doing it i suppose, donations? subscriptions? free to view?

    If subs and you have the next chapter ready release it a week early at twice the price, anyone who can wait gets the normal deal those who want to read ahead have to pay for the privilege
     
  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did a similar thing on a blog, twice before, and had great success and even a publishing deal at the end of that, with a traditional publisher. But it was a specific topic and postings were at least 3 times per week and if I missed one, there would be all these emails and speculations even entire forum threads opened speculating about why nothing was posted. What I am trying to say, I deliberately created high anxiety in my readers and it was an experiment in writing for me which accidentally paid off.

    But what I learned from it is that internet audiences are impatient but they will wait if:
    a) the writing is good and the story is good
    b) if it comes for free

    If you want to sell it, then you would have to publish every day and make it very reliable for people to tune in and read the next instalment, or to be able to catch up on reading the ones they missed. Even if you go through all that trouble, internet audiences don't like to be hassled for money.

    The only way I think someone would pay is for the entire novel as a pdf or e-book, which is the usual way to self-publish. And it will be successful only if it's as good as what you can buy in the shops. For that you would have to have a couple of chapters for free, to convince them of your writing first.
     
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    There are many people who really like this way of publishing, sometimes publishing a new part every day. We used to see this a lot years ago, when stories were published serially in magazines. I say go for it, and see what happens.

    I've seen a few others go this route, and for me, I personally don't like reading a small piece every day -- I'd rather read a larger chunk at at time. But I just wait a bit for the reading material to build and then go read a bunch at once. I'm sure there are a lot of people who like smaller chunks, so they probably go to the website every day or week or whatever and read the new installments as they are released. It sounds like Jazz had a good experience.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm old enough to remember when newspapers and magazines featured serialized stories... i hated it and hated them for doing it... 60 decades later, i still would... even if it was free...
     
  10. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sixty decades later? You're even older than we thought!

    :D
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    She didn't actually say she is sixty decades old. She only said she would still hate serialized stories if she were sixty decades old! :p
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Ah. You are, indeed, correct. So we all hold out hope for that magical sixty-first decade - she didn't say anything about that one!
     
  13. Ian J.
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    Ian J. Active Member

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    I think serialization might work if its written to be like that from the outset with parts very much self-contained like TV episodes, but to take what is otherwise a singular novel and just split the chapters out to make the parts then it's less satisfying.
     
  14. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    To get people to keep on coming back for more it would have to be a real page-turner and you would need to end each chapter on a cliff hanger.

    Why not break it down into 3/4 manageable lots.

    The only way to find out if it will work or not is to give it a go - Good luck!
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    thanks for trying to get me out of that typo gaffe, cog!

    but i must confess the zero was a typo... and i did indeed mean 6 decades... 'twas a clever turn, though, buddy!
     

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