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eatoncrow
11-09-2014, 08:10 PM
I can't find a forum dedicated to this, so I assume it's not very well-known in writing circles.

Briefly, I'm talking about web serials. Stories posted in increments on blogs, in imitation of the long-standing tradition of novels serialised in magazines and newspapers and also kind of in imitation of the webcomics model - releasing content for free and then selling dead tree editions of it as it accumulates.

What are your opinions?

Personally, I really like the model, but I do worry that it's hard to get people to read the damn things.

Jamesaritchie
11-09-2014, 08:35 PM
I love serial fiction. It's as old as fiction itself. I'm not big on giving anything away, though. Damned if I'm going to buy something I've already read.

Artwork is something else.

Hapax Legomenon
11-09-2014, 08:57 PM
The OP would not be giving anything away if the site were ad supported, as many serial fiction sites are.

Laer Carroll
11-09-2014, 09:33 PM
Better finish the entire work before publishing it in bits. If, as often happens, you tire and quit the work unfinished you may end up giving yourself a reputation as a blowhard. You almost certainly won't gain a rep as a brilliant promising writer.

Brightdreamer
11-09-2014, 10:02 PM
Better finish the entire work before publishing it in bits. If, as often happens, you tire and quit the work unfinished you may end up giving yourself a reputation as a blowhard. You almost certainly won't gain a rep as a brilliant promising writer.

+1

Few things are more aggravating than getting hooked into a series - book, TV, abstract cuneiform, whatever - only to have it end unresolved. (That's one of the reasons I've pretty much given up on television; may check out DVDs once a show's had its run, but I lost too many promising series to premature cancellation.)

That said, there's nothing stopping you from trying. Just know that, as soon as you start sharing your work with the public, you're creating an expectation of completion - whether it's a handful of visitors who stumble across your site or millions of loyal, fanfic-writing fans.

Jamesaritchie
11-10-2014, 12:01 AM
The OP would not be giving anything away if the site were ad supported, as many serial fiction sites are.

If the reader isn't paying for it, then the reader is getting it for free, which means why buy the print version when you've already read it?

And ad support may be getting paid, but usually not enough to matter.

Hapax Legomenon
11-10-2014, 12:37 AM
Well I often do pay for things available for free online, so there's your dissenting opinion.

AnneGlynn
11-10-2014, 11:06 PM
Well I often do pay for things available for free online, so there's your dissenting opinion.

Me, too. Mostly because I'd like to read the entire story in a collected form.

There's at least one other writers' board where serials are promoted as a current Very Big Thing. A few paranormal/super sexy writers claim to be making a lot of money in this format.

Hapax Legomenon
11-10-2014, 11:51 PM
Me, too. Mostly because I'd like to read the entire story in a collected form.

Right! I don't really like reading things on my computer so I'll buy literary magazines even if their stories are available for free online.

If you're really concerned that nobody will want to buy a collection, you can put new bonus material that's not available on the site in the collection.

Lissibith
11-11-2014, 07:45 PM
If the reader isn't paying for it, then the reader is getting it for free, which means why buy the print version when you've already read it?

And ad support may be getting paid, but usually not enough to matter.
*looks at all the collections of webcomics collections on her shelves* Yeah, thirded.

Sure, some people won't buy it if they read it online for free, but other people don't like having to read it online and love collected editions. Some people will be after the exclusive extras that often get packaged with the book versions. Some people just want to monetarily support the creator. And don't even get me started on the ones I'll buy just because they're gorgeous books. :D

gilesth
11-20-2014, 11:33 PM
I love the idea, and I've toyed with it a few times in my brain, even wrote some REALLY bad stuff way back in the day (that's still up for people to read if they really want to). The key to making it truly successful is the same as making a traditionally published book successful: make it as great as it can be, the get other opinions on it, the revise, then get it edited, and then promote the heck out of it. It HAS to grab readers on the same level as any other published work, or it will fail.

I have heard a few stories of people who have written serial novels, and when they were finished, they turned around and got print/e-editions and made some good money off of the end result. In large part because their audience, even though they already read the story, like it enough that they wanted to own a copy. And/or they liked the author enough to support them in whichever way they could.