Kindle Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on my first book.  It is the first book in a series.  I love to read books in a series and one thing that I hate is waiting one, two, or even three years for the next installment.  I am publishing my books on the Kindle but wondering if I publishing about 50 - 60 pages every couple months would attract buyers or should I just wait until each volume is completed.  I would offer it at 99 cents for each installment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,292 Posts
imon32red,

First off, let me welcome you to Kindle Boards. You may not know it, but I believe you have answered your own question. By publishing your book in segments, rather than as a completed story, you will be forcing your readers to endure the exact thing that you dislike. In fact, publishing limited portions of your book will likely frustrate your readers even more than having to wait an extended period of time between the publication of each of your books.

I believe there is a misconception that fantasy books (I'm assuming your book is fantasy) need to be serialized. There is nothing wrong with publishing a series of books to tell your story. But there is an art form to such an approach and it should not be approached lightly. Many authors point to The Lord of the Rings as an example of successfully publishing a serial book. The thing you have to remember is that The Lord of the Rings is not a true trilogy. Tolkien conceived of The Lord of the Rings as a single self-contained, albeit lengthy, story. Tolkien spent 14 years writing (and completing) his book before sending it off to be published. It was only after the fact that his publisher decided to release his books to the public as a trilogy.

You may want to be very careful about publishing your book as a serial story, unless you have most of the bugs worked out. As a reader, I would gladly read a series so long as each book is a self-contained story. The only way I can see publishing your book in pieces would be in a pulp magazine. In my opinion, you would do better to wait until your story is complete and publish it on Kindle as a single volume. Readers are more likely to follow you throughout the later installments of your serial story, so long as each book you publish delivers the literary equivalent of a full-course meal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
Don't do it.

You said that this is your first book.  That means it's going to need a lot of work.  I'm not denigrating your skill; I'm just telling you that first novels take a lot longer to revise and rewrite than the subsequent books.  There's a certain level of skill expected by readers and the last thing you want to do is put out a sub-par book that will only lose you readers instead of gain them for subsequent volumes.

It's fairly obvious from your post that you're in a rush to get your story out there.  The first book is not even written yet and you're thinking about publishing it in 50-60 page chunks.  But this would do both your readers and you a tremendous disservice.  Worse, it would lend credence to the stereotype that self-publishing is the refuge for those who aren't patient enough to refine and rewrite until the work is of professional standard.

Take your time and write a book that is worthy of being published, that is worthy of your name, and is worthy of your readers' time and money.  Anything else is simply not good enough.

Based on my experience as an author who has worked on several series, you also want as much of the story done as possible so you know how everything turns out.  You'd be surprised how little things that don't seem all that important in the first book can prove problematical later on.  Refining your story and taking the time to rewrite and revise will help iron out story inconsistencies, plot holes, character gaffs, and much more.  You'll have a far better idea of the story arc of your series if you spend that extra time working on your first book.  It's easier getting everything lined up right in book 1 than it is to ask the readers to gloss over a bugaboo in a later book that could have been avoided with a little extra time and patience.  And some readers will pick up on certain things that other readers don't.  Just because it might not be a big deal to you, it might well be to them.  You run the risk of destroying their enjoyment if you're too hasty getting out of the gate.

Writing is a lot like any other elite activity.  It takes time and hard work to prove you have the chops to do this.  Along the way, people may get disgruntled and drop out.  They may think the work is too hard and give up.  They find they simply don't have the patience to hang in there or the perseverance to see things through to the end.  But if you keep working and improving your game and keep insisting that you do your absolute best every time you sit down to write, your work will eventually prove itself worthy of being read by the public.  By that point, you will be a different writer than the one you are now.  

With that said, my advice is to take the year or two that it will most likely take you to write this first book and really make it shine.  Far too many writers think that the words that come out first are gold or at the least, perfectly acceptable.  They're not.  There is always something that can be improved.  And if this is your first novel, then you have a lot of work ahead of you.  But it's also an exhilarating feeling to know that you have a challenge before you that will help turn you from a wanna-be into a seasoned writer.  So embrace it and enjoy the experience rather than focus on the end result.  That will come; but with time, patience, and hard work.

Best of luck on your journey!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
19,280 Posts
If your dream is to have the book published and have people buying it and reading it, then Kevis and Jon give very good advice. On the other hand, if all you want is readers and you really don't anticipate actually publishing it, then you can serialize it on LiveJournal, find a community of readers, get comments and so on. Sort of take the fanfiction route. But once you've done this, it's much harder to go back and put it together as a book (more work). Some publishers also refuse to look at books that have been posted on the Internet because they consider them to already be published.

L
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
I don't think I would do it that way if I were you- not for a novel serialization. The only person I can think of offhand who ever made that strategy work for him was Charles Dickens, and needless to say those were different times.

But you do have options, though. One thing you might consider is writing a series of 50-60 page short stories each month dealing with the same characters having various adventures, but with each story self-contained. That strategy has worked very well for dozens of authors, and it can be very satisfying and entertaining for readers as well. It can also help build your fan base. Then, later on, you can collect all those stories into a single edition to make a book.

This is an approach I've never actually tried myself, but I know others who have, and I've read several books that were compiled that way. Just a suggestion to think about.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,587 Posts
Let me relate some other information that may influence your decision.

Two somewhat successful authors have a serialization project going.
They are Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.
From Wikipedia:
The Liaden universe (pronounced "Lee-AY-den") is the setting for an ongoing series of science fiction stories written by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. The series covers a considerable time period, some thousands of years in all, although since it also covers more than one universe the exact chronology is unclear. As of 2008[update] the series comprises ten novels and thirteen chapbooks; two further novels are being drafted online and another has been announced for the near future.

History of the series
The series is notable because it almost failed to take flight, and probably would only be three books long except for the Internet. The authors had written the first three books (Agent of Change, Conflict of Honors, Carpe Diem) but were told that sales were not sufficient to justify continuing.

Unbeknownst to them the books had caused such a stir on the Usenet group rec.arts.sf.written that they were added to the group's FAQ[1]. Upon gaining Internet access, the authors were surprised to find so many people looking for the next book, and even more surprised that its title was already decided upon: Plan B. They published some chapbooks to stave off the hungry fans and started writing: Plan B and a further three books followed in due course to complete the "Agent of Change" sequence. There are also a number of short stories, some filling in gaps between novels, some providing background on minor (and not so minor) characters. The series is ongoing as of 2008[update].

They published a book, Fledgeling, which was serialized in 2007 and you can "read a chapter a week". This book is now being published by Baen this year. You can read more about them and this effort at www.korval.com.

Just sayin......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all of the responses.  I wrote my post before I went to bed last night and was surprised to see so many responses.  All were very thought out.  I think that I will at least finish my book before I decide to publish.  I am not writing a fantasy series however I did grow up reading fantasy books.  The book in my mind is about the end of the world, a Christian last days scenario.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,292 Posts
imon32red,

You'll do fine as long as you don't rush the process. A book will take as long as it needs to take to be written. The most critical part of writing a novel is in the editing, polishing, and proofreading phases. This takes time and no amount of enthusiasm can make up for the effort that is involved in giving yourself time to make your book the best it can be. Unfortunately, you have to write the novel first. Then you can tighten up all the nuts and bolts. Publishing your book is only the last step before the world gets to read your book. As a first time novelist, you want to concern yourself with writing the best book humanly possible, knowing that when you publish it, you will have a product that is worth your reader's precious time. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
I was reading through all the fantastic advice. This is a great forum to learn even as an author. I wanted to add one thing that really helped with my first novel. I found that going to writing conferences and workshops really helped hone the novel. If you do an internet search, you could find a group or conference for your genre. Having written a children's book, I joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Not only can a group like this help with the writing craft; they can help with learning the business of writing.

Hope all goes well with your novel. The biggest thing I kept being told was KEEP WRITING. It's important not to give up, but keep at it until the novel is done. Then the fun begins.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
516 Posts
jonfmerz said:
Don't do it.

You said that this is your first book. That means it's going to need a lot of work. I'm not denigrating your skill; I'm just telling you that first novels take a lot longer to revise and rewrite than the subsequent books. There's a certain level of skill expected by readers and the last thing you want to do is put out a sub-par book that will only lose you readers instead of gain them for subsequent volumes.

It's fairly obvious from your post that you're in a rush to get your story out there. The first book is not even written yet and you're thinking about publishing it in 50-60 page chunks. But this would do both your readers and you a tremendous disservice. Worse, it would lend credence to the stereotype that self-publishing is the refuge for those who aren't patient enough to refine and rewrite until the work is of professional standard.

Take your time and write a book that is worthy of being published, that is worthy of your name, and is worthy of your readers' time and money. Anything else is simply not good enough.

Based on my experience as an author who has worked on several series, you also want as much of the story done as possible so you know how everything turns out. You'd be surprised how little things that don't seem all that important in the first book can prove problematical later on. Refining your story and taking the time to rewrite and revise will help iron out story inconsistencies, plot holes, character gaffs, and much more. You'll have a far better idea of the story arc of your series if you spend that extra time working on your first book. It's easier getting everything lined up right in book 1 than it is to ask the readers to gloss over a bugaboo in a later book that could have been avoided with a little extra time and patience. And some readers will pick up on certain things that other readers don't. Just because it might not be a big deal to you, it might well be to them. You run the risk of destroying their enjoyment if you're too hasty getting out of the gate.

Writing is a lot like any other elite activity. It takes time and hard work to prove you have the chops to do this. Along the way, people may get disgruntled and drop out. They may think the work is too hard and give up. They find they simply don't have the patience to hang in there or the perseverance to see things through to the end. But if you keep working and improving your game and keep insisting that you do your absolute best every time you sit down to write, your work will eventually prove itself worthy of being read by the public. By that point, you will be a different writer than the one you are now.

With that said, my advice is to take the year or two that it will most likely take you to write this first book and really make it shine. Far too many writers think that the words that come out first are gold or at the least, perfectly acceptable. They're not. There is always something that can be improved. And if this is your first novel, then you have a lot of work ahead of you. But it's also an exhilarating feeling to know that you have a challenge before you that will help turn you from a wanna-be into a seasoned writer. So embrace it and enjoy the experience rather than focus on the end result. That will come; but with time, patience, and hard work.

Best of luck on your journey!
Young writer: Read this hefty dose of wisdom again and again. This man knows what he is talking about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,213 Posts
bluearkansascowboy said:
I don't think I would do it that way if I were you- not for a novel serialization. The only person I can think of offhand who ever made that strategy work for him was Charles Dickens, and needless to say those were different times.
Wasn't Stephen King's The Green Mile originally serialized?

Either way, I agree with everyone else here: Don't do it. I'd never pay any amount of money for incomplete work. It's unsatisfying, and hey, how do I know you won't give up on the idea halfway through? That's the danger for both the reader and writer. You might realize it doesn't work for whatever reason and then decide to drop it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Allow me to pile on.  If it were a mega-author who was doing this, I might consider buying into the serial.  I would have assurances that, a) The writing would be good; b) The writing would be edited; c) There was a method to the madness whether it was apparent or not

But for an unknown to try something like that...it smacks of impatience and a lack of discipline.  We've all been there:  "What I've written is magnificent.  I want it out there today!  I want recognition, and fame and money and parades and my own television show...now!"  Frankly, it takes good writing and no small amount of luck to get there (and a parade is still unlikely  :)).  Most of us just trudge along...writing and sharpening our skills along the way...working our day jobs and trying to get a BIG break.

Anyway, there's tons of advice on this thread--all of it good.

Best wishes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
CS, I'm not sure if The Green Mile was serialized or not, but Stephen King can get away with publishing his grocery list if he wants to.  Most of us are not that lucky.  lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
You may have all the research possible and yet you may still not know the actual outcome until you put what you've learned in the lab into practice. Follow your instinct. If it works you'll be rewarded with increased sells and money if it doesn't work you'll be rewarded with experience and wisdom that may be used to apply on your next go round. "THINK, PLAN, EXECUTE!"™
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
982 Posts
jawar said:
You may have all the research possible and yet you may still not know the actual outcome until you put what you've learned in the lab into practice. Follow your instinct. If it works you'll be rewarded with increased sells and money if it doesn't work you'll be rewarded with experience and wisdom that may be used to apply on your next go round. "THINK, PLAN, EXECUTE!"™
Uh, this is a zombie thread. It's 2 years old. There's no point in bringing it back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
586 Posts
imon32red said:
Thanks for all of the responses. I wrote my post before I went to bed last night and was surprised to see so many responses. All were very thought out. I think that I will at least finish my book before I decide to publish. I am not writing a fantasy series however I did grow up reading fantasy books. The book in my mind is about the end of the world, a Christian last days scenario.
No offence but hasn't that one been done to death already, speaking as a non christain myself, unless you have a fresh angle on it, of course?
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top