This site focuses not on full blown series, one standing novels, or even short stories. It focuses on serials.
Some people don't know what serials are. Well, that's another thing this site is for, to help you gain knowledge. Especially since serials are becoming ever more popular, you don't want to see a book in it, and not understand what it is.
For clarity reasons for this blog, I will be separating serials into two different categories.
Serialized novels: These are not complete novels. You are reading sections of a novel, and must get all of the books in it to complete the novel journey. These are usually lower in word count/pages, but some are of a decent length.
Serials: These are what I would call adventures. Sometimes, there is never an ending. I would call these closer to TV shows. They can stand alone, but there is a large arch over it that keeps it all one big show.
How do I find these serials?
You might stumble across serials when you are searching for books at online retailers, or looking at author sites. They are easily found on Amazon. To actively find them, I use some keywords in the search box. While 'serial' is popular, it also shares books that have the name serial, or are about serial killers. You will also run into a mess of TV shows that are serial.
I prefer clicking the down button and going to kindle first. This will get rid of anything that isn't an ebook. Then I put 'episode' into the search box. Usually, I like to make sure an author has some kind of commitment so I'll put 'episode 3' or 'episode 4' into the box. Another good one is to try and find your field like 'episode science fiction'. Then, you might be able to find episodes that are well...science fiction.
You get the point.
Why do people publish serialized novels?
I think everyone has their reasons. I haven't published any yet, but if I can find a willing, affordable, and able editor to help me out I would. (This however remains to be seen.) I think some people think they can get more money, but that's not everyone. I think some feel that the more books they have beneath their name, the better they will do, but that's not everyone. Some just want to. Who knows all the reasons? Is seeing eight segments of a novel going to make a higher priced novel look better and valuable? I have no clue, but not every serialized novel is a cash cow.
Why do people publish serials?
They wanted it to be a serial. They want to continue adventures with the same people, but finish off one adventure in each book. Each book is an adventure, but more books improves the adventure. Or, you know, they have other reasons. I'm not a mind reader really.
Why do serials cost so much?
Both serials and serialized novels can't be given away free easily. Just like many other books, retailers don't always allow free. Writers can try and make usually the first one or two free, but there's no guarantee it can happen. Since they can't choose how or when it goes free, serial cost can add up. Say there are going to be ten parts to a novel and each part is .99. It sounds cheap, .99 pays for a lot. However, over ten parts at .99. That would cost at least ten dollars for one novel.
One way to ignore that is to find out if the author will put out the whole novel after it's all over. Sometimes, they do. (Most times they do because they can make more money this way because a one time higher cost of .99 produces more royalties.) On the other hand, you'll have to wait to read it. For those that see something good, they don't always want to wait.
This approach can also bring some 1 stars to serials. Comments like 'too short' and 'incomplete' and 'good story but I hate the fact I have to wait for the next one'.
Amazon has started Kindle Serials though, where a one time buy will let the reader get the whole story as it is updated on their kindle. Except that an author must be accepted, and this is not an easy feat. The only other way to offer this value, is to continually update one book. Yet, updates are a tricky beast too. Amazon decides whether or not to tell people it has been updated.
Most other outlets besides them wouldn't even warn about it, so this approach may not be as simple as it sounds.
Some writers are using their serials to have something free, or to entice, but still care about the readers dollar. If they share how long the serial is, and how many episodes it will be, that's a good sign. Some only have small numbered serials, give the first one or two away, and make money on the last books. So maybe, 3 or 6 bucks?
Look at the whole picture if you decide to buy a serial.
There is also no guarantee that an author will finish a serial. In this respect, it reminds me greatly of fanfiction. An update could be the next day, in six months, or never. It's a trust issue.
However, if you find a serial or serialized novel that treats everything professionally, you can have a great time. Sometimes the way they leave you hanging can make you salivate for the next book, or the next adventure with these characters.
My Favorite Serials or Serialized Novels have this in common:
I hold the most respect for serialists who don't break up their book into tiny, tiny pieces. There are some great pieces out there that if they were a full blown novel, you'd probably tear your hair out. Reading over time in maybe 20-30,000 words is an easier way to read these mammoths.
If an author is breaking up a novella into 5,000 words a piece over time though, I really am less of a fan of that. I still might read though if the writing and plot is good enough.
One word about erotic serials.
Erotic serials break all the rules, and are usually taken better with readers. Other serials may have a harder time shifting their books, or may have to be lower in price.
But, not every serial is erotic, and that is what I'd like to focus this blog on. A little bit of each. If a book is erotic, I will warn you before telling you about it.