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Serials: Writing For Your Readers by RaShelle Workman

What is a serialized novel?  

It isn't a “regular” novel broken into pieces.

A large story arc that continues over the entire series along with mini arcs within each volume. 

The mechanics of writing a serialized story:
End goal.
(but nothing has to be set in stone)
Keep track of important plot points by using separate documents or folders or Scrivener is great too.
Have fun. 
Interact with readers.

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This Post Has 26 Comments
  1. Hi there Rashelle – great segment!
    I’d love to know the length (word count) of your serials, both per instalment and overall story arc.
    Thanks 🙂

  2. Lovely video, Rachelle! I have been enjoying writing my own serial novel. It’s definitely a slow build to a readership, as most of my readers seem to want to wait for the season omnibuses. But, like you, I do enjoy the reader interaction aspect!

  3. I write adult fantasy romance series but would like to try the serial format. Most of the serials I see on the Kindle bestseller lists are contemporaries aimed at YA or New Adult readers. The NA ones look quite steamy. Do you think the serial format works as well for adult fiction? Also, you talk about interacting with your readers as the stories come out. Do you do this via your blog or FB? Or do you use a mix of social media? Thanks. I enjoyed your video.

    1. Hi Sondra – I think it can work well for adult. Any category really. I interact with fans mainly through Facebook. I have an author page so that I can engage and talk to my readers on a regular basis. So glad you enjoyed the video.

  4. Melinda – I’m not exactly sure what you mean. I publish through Amazon. I have a cover artist make my covers beforehand, I have a couple of different editors who’re on board to edit as I write. Then I also have a formatter. Once I’m done, I upload through Kindle Direct Publishing.

    1. Do you use KDP Select and that’s why you’re exclusive to Amazon and if so how have you used the 5 free days and Kindle Countdown to your advantage. Also, do you plan to publish to other platforms like B&N, Apple, Kobo, etc at a later date?

    2. I go back and forth between KDP Select and publishing through other sites (Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo and on). With the free days, I never use all 5. I’ve found that within the first 24 hours you’ve reached your max potential on readership. So I’ll use 1 free day every three months. It’s a great tool for getting your book some velocity and finding readers.

  5. I understand that each book in the serial needs to tell its own story, otherwise it’s not a proper serial. But how do you end each book? Do you use a cliffhanger of some kind so people HAVE to buy the next one to see what happens next or something else?

    1. A cliffhanger is good. It doesn’t have to be someone died or they kiss… although those are good… it can be something like a NEW piece of information that pushes the character on thus pushing the reader on.

  6. Thanks Fifi. =)

    Erica – That’s true some places prefer longer works. I’m thinking bookbub. What you can do is wait until you have four volumes out, package them together and then market it as a boxed set. That’s what I did.

  7. I would recommend starting your series at .99 cents especially if your new. There are those who start pricing their voles at 2.99 but usually they have a really large readership. For me, I’ve found that selling each volume at .99 cents and then the whole set for anywhere from 3.99 to 7.99 is the best way to go.

  8. I’ve had a quick look at your serials on Amazon and they seem to be approximately 57 pages long. A lot of the usual (paid) places for advertising frown on such a short length, how did you get around this when marketing? Did you even bother with them? In short, how do you market a serial?

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