Let’s define what is a serial first, then we can talk about the benefits of telling your story in a serialized form. A serial, is simply a story told in parts and over time instead packaged to be read of all at once. All done. Now that’s taken care of, let’s get to the benefits of serials then you’ll understand why we’re bringing it back.
1) A good serial makes the story naturally better.
Think about the challenges of telling a story when each part is separated by days or weeks, and you get an idea why it makes the story better. Because the story better be…better…or readers would have a perfect excuse to stop reading. A writer can’t rely on the patience and guilt of a reader to stick through a long winded setup to a plot twist because the reader bought the book.
2) A good serial is a natural marketing machine.
Not all writers are good at marketing and PR. But it’s easy to just say “hey, read this latest chapter to find out [insert latest development here]!” if there’s something to say every once in a while. (Some good tips here.) Just you talking about yourself gets too one dimensional after a while, but that’s why there are other serials! If you get a bunch of writers all writing good serials (yep, those are our writers), and all with something to say on a regular basis, then bingo! You can create yourself a little virtual cross-promotion team, selflessly tweeting your favorite authors and once in a while, slip something in for yourself.
3) A good serial makes an even better book.
Because writing a good serial is all about making sure readers to come back for more, chance are when the serial is converted into a book – it’s a guaranteed page turner. Don’t have to believe me, just look at all the greats that started out as serials. To name a few, The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo and Sherlock Holmes. Check out this cool piece on Dickens and how he used serialization. Oh, and not to pat our authors on the back, but did you know “second and third rate novelist who could not get published in a magazine and is obliged to publish in a volume, and it is in a magazine that the best novelists always appear first.” Wikipedia said it, so it’s true.