Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Can a Serial Kill?

The other night, the hubby and I stayed up to watch Stephen King's The Green Mile (a welcomed favorite, no matter how many times we've seen it), when he commented that it must have been a great book. He's not much of a reader, so I confirmed that yes, it was an excellent book and pointed out that initially the book was serialized...it was back in 1996(?) and I remember anxiously waiting every month for the new installment. Six mini books in six months - that's the longest it's ever taken me to read an "entire" book :)

So I got to thinking, what if I turned Heir into a three part serial, with each episode (or novella) to be published over the course of a few months. I would eventually publish the subsequent books in the series as complete novels.

To serialize my debut book is not without its appeal:

One, if I decide to work with an editor, I could keep initial costs at a minimum by submitting one novella at a time vs. a completed book. Two, if I serialized Heir and the first novella bombs, then I can scratch the project all together. Three, I can get my story out to readers ahead of schedule. And lastly, since this will be my first time working with Amazon/PubIt/Smashwords, I can try to figure out the formatting on a much smaller piece than the whole enchilada (which two other jobs, this is a great reason).

I do however, see the disadvantages:

Readers having to wait several months to read the entire first book...hmm, that's the only downside I have so far. Well, okay, maybe pricing. The price for each novella would most likely run about .99 cents (I've heard indie authors can't price it for FREE on Amazon), so it could end up costing the reader a total of $3, if they were to buy all three novellas. If I were to publish Heir as one book, I would probably price it at $1.99. Something to consider.

I am going to continue toying with the idea, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. Thoughts?

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