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Off Topic > What do you Think of Serialized Novels?

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Henderson (Michael_Henderson) | 15 comments There is a move toward publishing novels in several parts over time, kinda the way it was done in the past in magazines.

Do you have any experience buying these?

If so, what did you think?

If not, would you pay 99 cents each to get the novel in parts?

Mike Henderson


message 2: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) I'm all for serialized books in that the books can be self-contained but referential to previous books. A novel being serialized seems frustrating.


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Henderson (Michael_Henderson) | 15 comments Ashe wrote: "I'm all for serialized books in that the books can be self-contained but referential to previous books. A novel being serialized seems frustrating."

You bring up an important distinction, Ashe. There is a difference between a series and a serialization.

A series is a group of books that are related.

I'm talking about serialization of a single novel, where the novel is published in sections.

Authors such as Charles Dickens have done it in the past, and magazines used to do it.

So, the question here related to whether you would consider buying a novel in installments.


message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark (mark-s) Michael wrote: "Ashe wrote: "I'm all for serialized books in that the books can be self-contained but referential to previous books. A novel being serialized seems frustrating."

You bring up an important distinct..."

I try to avoid books like this. So I will say No.
I have memory issues & nothing worse then to invest time reading a book only to be left hanging & having to wait for the next installment.

I wish when authors plan to do this it would be included in the book description so I would know to avoid starting a book until all parts of it are available.


message 5: by Bill (last edited Jan 19, 2015 06:44AM) (new)

Bill (shiftyj1) | 4892 comments I struggle with serialized novels and unless it is an author that is established I probably would not even consider buying it. Or, I may read the first installment and for whatever reason find that my interest has waned and I will not pick up any of the other volumes. Usually I will wait until the volumes are put together in an omnibus edition rather than having to wait for each part to be released.

I get the feeling that sometimes the author is just trying to break up his novel, charge for each episode to make more money. I am not saying that this is the case in all instances, but it still appears that way to me on occasion.


message 6: by Bill (new)

Bill (shiftyj1) | 4892 comments I hope this does this not become a trend like trilogies. That is another format that I don't like and I try to avoid.


message 7: by Victor (new)

Victor (ace-geek) It would be a little annoying, I think. Especially if the price of all the pieces put together ended up being more than the book would have cost in one chunk.


message 8: by Mochaspresso (new)

Mochaspresso  | 18 comments This is a very popular trend now and I am not a fan. I tend to avoid serials and I am starting to avoid "series" if I know that they are not completed. As for serials, some authors are charging .99 cents for each installment which, in some instances, only entails a single chapter. It's a very expensive proposition for readers if all books were to be published this way. I prefer full length and complete novels.


message 9: by Dean (new)

Dean Edwards (deancedwards) | 10 comments I'd love to know the main things, aside from price, that put people off serial fiction. I've not come across anything in this format that I want to read, so I'm not a reader of serial fiction yet, but I'd give it a try under certain conditions.

This is a very interesting thread for me, because I am currently working on a work of serial fiction. Long story short: I think my story lends itself to being created and revealed daily and it's free until it's finished.

I realise that it's a big ask to demand that someone pays for something that's not finished, and thus might never BE finished. Also, I'm not an established name.

I hear what you say Bill about the weight of an established author.

I'd love to hear the potential pitfalls of serial fiction, aside from the price tag, and I really hope to read from someone who likes serial fiction. Jesus! Tell me what you like about it and I'll (probably) do it.


message 10: by Stéphane (new)

Stéphane Desienne (desienne) | 7 comments Serialization offers a lot, especially when developing deeper backgrounds, secondary characters and complex plots.
I guess we can see 3 types of serialization :
-> A novel divided into parts or sections.
-> A story too long to be published all at once in a single book that needs to be divided.
-> The serie with seperates episodes, each one could be read no matter the order.

I consider one important thing: we have less time to read (because we all have busy lives ;-)) so, it is an interesting move to divide your story into smaller parts anyone can read at any time, any place, in less than an hour. In y opinion, it is very suitable to pulp genres.


message 11: by Bill (new)

Bill (shiftyj1) | 4892 comments I think that serialized stories are a lot of work for the reader. Especially, if you need to visit a site daily to read the next installment. Besides the "losing interest" factor, I wonder how many readers would take the extra time to track the releases and keep up on the story over an extended period of time. As a reader (and not a writer), it just seems like a lot of effort to me.

That is just my opinion though and I am sure there are others out there that enjoy the installment format, It's just not for me.


message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael Henderson (Michael_Henderson) | 15 comments Mark wrote: "Michael wrote: "Ashe wrote: "I'm all for serialized books in that the books can be self-contained but referential to previous books. A novel being serialized seems frustrating."

You bring up an im..."


It should be in the description, that's for sure.


message 13: by Michael (new)

Michael Henderson (Michael_Henderson) | 15 comments Bill wrote: "I struggle with serialized novels and unless it is an author that is established I probably would not even consider buying it. Or, I may read the first installment and for whatever reason find that..."

You're probably right, since that is the whole point to doing it. A lot of people started doing it after Amazon introduced Kindle Unlimited, which really cut their revenue.


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael Henderson (Michael_Henderson) | 15 comments Stéphane wrote: "Serialization offers a lot, especially when developing deeper backgrounds, secondary characters and complex plots.
I guess we can see 3 types of serialization :
-> A novel divided into parts or sec..."


Even if you have a full novel, you can usually stop at a convenient place and resume again later.

Maybe there's some psychological advantage to having a shorter piece.


message 15: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) Biggest thing for serial stories is you should probably be finding ways to release via patreon or making use of ad revenue. I'm not against the concept. I mean, comics are serial and i love them. So I think it's all in presentation. Free until finished and then collected into 1 volume is great. I'm all for that.


message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikedecshop) | 1479 comments Didn't King do it with the Green Mile? I enjoyed that format.


message 17: by Dave (new)

Dave Pope | 53 comments If I want to read a story I want to read it now - not be forced into reading a bit now and then. I don't like the concept at all unless we are talking about a series of full novels. Also unless I'm really and I mean really enjoying a book serializing it will only result in me losing interest a short way into it.


message 18: by Kathy (last edited Jan 20, 2015 10:07AM) (new)

Kathy (littlemissred3) | 252 comments Ashe wrote: "I'm all for serialized books in that the books can be self-contained but referential to previous books. A novel being serialized seems frustrating."


It IS frustrating, and therefore I try and avoid these books. I like "stand alone books". If you're going to write a book, then write it in its entirety, not in pieces and/or parts.


message 19: by Ashe (new)

Ashe Armstrong (ashearmstrong) Basically, there's a difference between "leave them wanting more" and serializing a novel into chapter releases. Plus, with print-on-demand and ebook services, staggering something's release seems unnecessary.


message 20: by Neil (new)

Neil Fix | 9 comments I think serial fiction only works if it is regular and not too far apart. At most a month, which is what Dickens did, but preferably less. There was a very good zombie novel called 'Alison Hewitt is trapped', which was originally serialised. It worked because the format was of a blog and it was posted on a blog every few days. So it was quick - and, importantly, free at first.
I think established authors releasing their own novels serialised are primarily doing it for money reasons.


message 21: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 2788 comments At first I didn't get this but upon reading comments I figured it out. I've seen it work best with comics and I know an author who sent me a sample of his novel to which he was going to release like this. I'm not sure I'm a fan of it novel wise, I mean I suppose it depends on how big or how you wish to approach readers.


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