Of Authors and Prose: Serializing vs. Free

Quill-InkI’ve heard some complaints from a few friends of mine over the fact authors are now serializing their books. For those who don’t know, instead of putting out a whole book, they publish it chapter by chapter for .99 cents per chapter. This is mostly happening on Amazon in their KU program, and quite frankly, I can see how it’s annoying.

Now, before I go any further, I’m not going to tell anyone how to run their writing career. This post is strictly my opinion.

Even if this serializing sounds like a good idea, you should know that readers are beginning to balk at the idea of constantly having to pay to read each chapter. Not only that, some books are over twenty chapters so by the time you’ve finished reading that epic fantasy, a digital novel will cost you about the same price as a hardcover. I’ve also heard complaints that the program has been flooded with poorly written shorts, making the task of finding something good to read even harder. Yeah, I saw that coming.

Is it good for authors? Well, that all depends on the author. The writer who only publishes with Amazon can put their books in, but writers who use other platforms as well (like myself) would have to pull our novels from other places and solely publish with Amazon, PLUS (and you need to know this) there is a double-standard. Authors with Traditional publishers can keep their books in as many outlets as they want. The exclusivity is restricted only to self-publishers.

Now comes the comparison to free. Free is a marketing tool and I’m having a difficult time seeing the Kindle Unlimited and serializing as the same thing. I’ve always advocated an author getting their books in as many places as possible and I have to wonder how effective serializing is, as not everyone in the world has a Kindle, and Amazon has tough competition in Europe with other digital retailers using their own ereaders. The KU program works on the Kindle app too (so I’ve been told) and you can find that on their website.

Amazon opened the door for authors to get their product to the world. If more people break their books up, I can see KU being filled with nothing but shorts and chapters.

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About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

4 Responses to Of Authors and Prose: Serializing vs. Free

  1. Dawn says:

    I can see how annoying serializing would be. Yeah 99p (or cents) isn’t a lot, but add that all up over time and, like you say, you’re paying the cost of a brand new hardback. I know people who publish chapter by chapter on their blogs, but that’s completely different. No one has to pay for that. And seriously, if you want to buy a book from amazon, you want the whole book, not just a chapter, so why do that?

    • Yes, right! I like short reads too, but if I read a good first chapter, and then learn I have to pay to continue reading, I think, not only would I *not* continue, but I wouldn’t read anything from that author again. Not if this is the way they treat their stories. To me, it smacks of greed on the author’s part.

  2. rdbach315 says:

    This was a very popular method of hooking readers back in the first half of the 20th century … but in magazines. Top authors would serialize their novels and we’d have to buy the magazine each week or month to keep up. So this is not all that different.

    I noted that you mentioned European e-readers challenging Amazon. I recently received an inquiry from a publisher who wants to purchase the Italian Language rights to one of my novels. Do you have any advice?

    • The only advice I can give you, is vet them very, very well. You should really ask around if anyone has heard of them or been approached by them before. Overseas market is a whole new ball game. They had a different outlook on cheap books. I’m looking at translations and I know a few sites that have become popular.

      Good luck! I hope it works out!!

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