Serial Short Ebooks: An Option To Pursue?

Next week I publish episode 14 of the podiobooks release of Storyteller Chronicles: The Horde. This chapter marks the 25% completion mark of the story and simultaneously marks a shift in the narrative: secrets start to come out, the mission of the main characters gets more clearly explained, and the ties between Earth and Farrakan become more evident.

Chapter 14 itself marks a coda, of sorts. After the battle in 13, all the characters have had significant shifts in their disposition and situation and 14 features the narrator, in his earthly prison, reflecting on what has gone on so far and what might be to come.

In terms of length, this is almost a hundred pages of story. I’m planning on distributing it to my alpha readers and kickstarter backers who have been interested in seeing the print version.

I’ve been toying with taking that a step farther. Chapters 14, 28, 42, and 56 each mark a major shift in the story. This wasn’t planned but the book neatly divides into four parts, much like how the series neatly divides into three books (The Horde and its two sequels I’m working on now).

The step I’m considering is releasing the first part, the first quarter, for free as an ebook and making it available then doing the same with the remaining parts before I compile and release the complete book.

I think the biggest benefit would be, besides getting copies of the book in hands of readers as soon as possible, is that I would have practice making four ebook manuscripts before I release the full novel.

I’m particularly fond of the Japanese “Tanakabon” style release of manga, where you release a compiled series of chapters containing a complete story arc then do so again as the moves towards completion.This would allow me to keep with the serialized feel I enjoy so much that releasing via podiobooks is bringing to story.

I look at the current trend in publishing short novellas on Amazon and want to jump in. This adds an additional way to access the series to the already planned methods of ebook, podiobook, and print version. I feel the key would be to make the pricing make it worthwhile so no reader feels cheated by buying the serial version vs the regular version. Thoughts from the gallery?

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2 thoughts on “Serial Short Ebooks: An Option To Pursue?

  1. It’s a good idea and there’s definitely precedent for it. The Green Mile by Stephen King, for example, was originally published in 6 short installments before being published as a full novel.

    Releasing the first few installments for free, or a reduced price also gives your readers some form of payoff whilst increasing your chance of ‘social publicity’, i.e. reviews and feedback on your work.

    Best of luck!

  2. Thanks for the comment. I’m thinking of going with 4 installments and I want to give away at least the first one though I’ve heard people having trouble using Amazon for free releases. Thanks for your thoughts!

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