Friday, October 19, 2012
YA Indie Carnival - Kindle Serials
Kindle Serials - This week, the sponsors of the YA Indie Carnival are sharing our opinions on the serial novel phenomenon. For me, it's a little too new to do anything more than regurgitate the information coming straight from Amazon's Kindle Serials website: Kindle Serials are stories published in episodes. When you buy a Kindle Serial, you will receive all existing episodes on your Kindle immediately, followed by future episodes as they are published. Enjoy reading as the author creates the story, and discuss episodes with other readers in the Kindle forums.
I'd be lying if I said I was not intrigued. Amazon has done some amazing things for indie authors. I'm sure this will be another of those diverse opportunities that I'll only get on Amazon. At the same time, book writing is the weaving of a story. If I publish one chapter before the end of the book was finished, I might miss a great opportunity to foreshadow something that will happen later or to go back and develop the characters, settings, and storyline in a manner that makes what they eventually do more believable. I think of my books as quilts that are stitched by hand. Each word a thread. Each chapter a patch. Each book a blanket. You can not sell the quilt one patch at a time without a plan to make that patch the beautiful quilt it could someday be.
In fact, the mere thought of putting something out there that could change for the better by the end of the story is anxiety producing for me. I even have a hard time doing it with my beta reader. I worry that he will never get to see the story through the eyes of someone reading the clean and edited version for the first time. While these serials would be edited, they may be missing the evolution of the story that only comes through when you begin tying the beginning chapters to the middle and end of the story.
I should also mention that I worry a little bit about the coordination of the editing. For example, if I commit to having a book a month released. I would have two weeks to write, one week for edits, and one week to format and release. If my editor can't get to it right away, my deadline (my promise to my customers) is shot. My work ethics prevent me from missing goals/timelines. I'm here for my customers. It's not now nor will it ever be the other way around.
My writing habits and my need to meet established goals make it impossible for me to pursue a serial using an unfinished book. Instead, I believe that I may pursue this avenue with Dark Angels of the Cross,... but only after the book has been written and edited. At that time, I will determine how much of the book will be released and at what intervals so that I can release a product I can be proud of without disappointing the many fans of The Warrior Series. The best news of all is that this plan will go a long way toward minimizing the tension/stress between my editor and me. She's awesome, but constant deadlines without regard to her other clients could be try even a saint's nerves.
Finally, I'd like to point to a book that is #14 on this week's NYT Best Sellers List. Because You Are Mine Part VI: Because You Torment Me by Beth Kery. It may not perfectly fit the serial methodology, but it is not a whole novel. The fact that the book is short and the readers are being forced to buy each individual installment at the same price as some indie novels has not kept this book from making onto the best seller list. Please know that I am in no way endorsing this book. I have no idea what it is about or anything about its author, I am simply showing you an example of a serial-like book that proves this avenue can be successful. Since Beth Kery's experiment has gotten her on the best sellers list, I suspect many others, including myself, will follow her path.
Now, take a few minutes to see what my fellow members have to say about serials: