Today’s topic is “Making chapters available online.”
Readers, have you ever read a novel as a serial in a magazine (online or otherwise)? What was your experience? What do you prefer? Would you rather read the book a chapter at a time and have to wait for each installment, or would you rather have the whole book available to finish at your leisure?
Writers, what are the advantages and disadvantages of allowing your novel to appear online chapter by chapter? Have you had any good or bad experiences you’d like to share with us? Do you think it helps your sales to make your novel available as a serial, one chapter at a time? Is it a good idea, or not?
I’ve thought about making my novels available as a serial book, but would be very interested in what the blogging community’s experiences, thoughts, and feelings are about reading a novel in this way.
From a business point of view, is it a good idea for writers to offer their work as a serial book? Why or why not?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section. No answer is wrong. All input is appreciated.
Don’t be shy. Tell us what you think and share your ideas.
I would rather have the book which I can read in bed every night before I go to sleep.
I think I would too, but I do remember that in “the old days” some magazines used to feature books chapter by chapter. I guess it was a way to make sure you buy the magazine each time. Now that most magazines are online, that has changed too. Thanks for your input, Ursula.
Good questions. From an authors point of view I’d rather get my book out there in its entirety, but I don’t know what readers prefer. As a reader, I definitely want the whole book in my hands so I can read as much as I want whenever I want.
Thanks for your insights, Darlene.
In the old days prior to being able to buy books to read I did a lot of my reading in serial form via magazines… but with the internet now I wonder if a form of that would not be advantageous.?? Say there’s a book that looks good because the blurb is well written by an expert that can get you to love something you actually wont like…. and that happens… if the book was serialized one could buy the first bit… and from there decide if you are going to purchase further… I have loved the author Wilber Smith since reading his first book “When the Lion feeds” as a school boy… but his latest which I paid R 255.00 for (about $25) i read the first chapter or two and threw it in the dustbin… I know hes got old and it shows in his writing… if that had of been in serial form I would probably have purchased the first section and left the rest… Know what I mean?…
I have found this with a few books I’ve purchased and with money being an issue to a semi retired person, it has made my purchases so much more of an issue now… in fact I now read less… where 4 books a month was a norm, now 1 every 6 weeks is more like it…
Now I think if it was serilised at least the author would get a small amount in at a time due to some showing interest and then losing interest rather than some not buying it at all… also in the same vein, if some one wanted to see if they liked it; and did; a sale would be made…
Take my book for example, although now nearly finished with the last edit… I am scared to publish it as I wonder who would be interested in it… I have made my family promise they will buy a copy just so a sale goes through…. but if it was serilised maybe others would buy the first bit and become interested in the rest… again, know what I mean…
Good points, Rob. Thanks.
What an interesting question!
I, too, prefer to have the whole book available, to read at my own pace. If it’s particularly compelling, I think I would go mad with waiting for the next instalment!. 😛 (Patient, me? Er!)
On the other hand, we do just that with TV series where shows pop up once a week, so perhaps it’s just what we’re used to?
Exactly the same thing with the TV series. I hadn’t thought of that.
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I prefer to own the book, hold it, turn the pages and finally set it to “rest” upon a bookshelf! However, I wonder if the “reader” has changed, preferring to read books in instalments. I enjoy reading blog posts on the screen yet never attached to books downloaded onto kindle/kobo. To me, it feels odd, even unnatural to read a “book” on a gadget or online.
IDK for certain, anneli but I am thinking there probably is a market for chapter instalments on line.
I think many of the online serial offers don’t pay, and are just to help make readers aware of your book. Not sure that’s helpful if they’re already reading your book for free. Maybe someone who has tried it can tell us.