11 Responses to “The serious business of Kindle Serials”

  1. Noel Goetz

    I’m with Kira. As an on-going serial writer (140 plus episodes @cardinalmeadows.com) I would have little interest in the pay-once model. Serial writing is real work, laboring many hours each week to put out a product that people want to read on a consistent basis. I remember reading that in India, that mobile media micro serials are starting to take off, and if I remember correctly, that it was a per-episode pay for play, albeit at a very low cost. In today’s hurried environment I think there is a real niche for serial installment-fiction considering many people with active life-styles find it nearly impossible to find the time to sit down and read a novel cover to cover, without a great deal of sacrifice in other areas of life or family.

  2. Thanks for a well-rounded article. I’ve been writing an online serial with installments running from 7K – 16K words since 1997, and run the first community devoted to webserials (the EpiGuide, launched in 1998). In other words, many of us have been plugging away for years. I have no doubt Amazon and other publishing houses will find authors able to produce content at the quantity and quality they require. Whether the pay-once model is successful is a different story, not to mention the exclusivity issue. It will also be interesting to see whether *ongoing* serials — ones that aren’t designed with an end-point in mind — will also get the publicity that serialized novels are getting. Those of us with continuing content are providing a service that Amazon and other publishers should be slavering over: lucrative material that lasts for years. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops.

  3. Steeplechasing

    It worked well in Dickens’ day and humans haven’t changed that much since. Quality will be the key.

    From a business viewpoint, I suspect Mr Bezos is reinforcing his Prime strategy of building a model that keep customers coming back, again and again and again.

    Joe McNally

  4. Edit-My-Book

    I think serialisation could really catch on. I hope so, because it’s something that interests me a lot. I’m a fan of blovels but this writing genre seems to be struggling, largely I think because of author fatigue. That remark about ‘third episode problem’ is very salient. However, if authors can persevere I think readers will come to appreciate and enjoy serials, which are well suited to the electronic reading era.

  5. “Jeff Belle doesn’t doubt the pay-once strategy. “We thought this would be the best customer experience for reading a digital serial,” he told me. “in the end, if you focus on the best possible customer experience, the revenue will follow.””

    I love their confidence. Like a lot of serial fiction authors, I’ll watch how it goes carefully to see if it is, in fact, the best customer experience or just another way to market the same thing. Writing a book and serializing it is really, really different from writing published as it’s written serial fiction.

    Selfishly, I hope it works for them and readers. The more readers who enjoy their books a week at a time, the more readers will move over to the wild and woolly world of serial fiction. <–note my confidence! ;)

    Thanks for including me and writing the first real cogent article on this topic.