Books Magazine

Guest Blogger: Kim Willington: Turning Your Novel into a Serial

By Dplylemd

Why You Should Consider Turning Your Novel into a Serial

With the rise of popularity of e-books, a whole new world has opened up for authors. You no longer need to rely on traditional book publishing deals or a flashy marketing campaign to sell your book. You can publish it yourself and connect with readers directly to drive sales.

Publishing your novel yourself also offers you a number of opportunities for how to publish your book and market it. E-publishing has also seen the return of the popularity of serial novels. It is much easier to create and distribute chapters or episodes of a serial novel online. It’s less expensive, and you don’t have to deal with printing and distributing books.

If you have a novel that you haven’t been able to publish, you may want to consider turning into a serial and distributing it online. Or you may want to consider writing your next novel as a serial. Here are a few reasons why:

You Can Hook Readers

When you are in the middle of a good book and you finish a chapter that has just ended on a cliffhanger, you can’t wait to read the next chapter — and you usually don’t. If you are reading a serial novel, you have to wait until the next chapter or episode is released, building your anticipation to find out what happens next.

If you’re able to hook readers like this, you make them more attached to the story so they’ll be more likely to buy the next installment of your current novel, as well as any novels or serial novels you publish in the future. Serial novels have a way to engage readers in a way that a typical novel cannot because of the way they are written and the suspense that is built between installments.

More Potential for Sales

Installments of a serial novel are cheap and they’re quick to read. That makes them very attractive to readers looking to try something new or looking for a little fun reading. Usually priced at 99 cents, serial installments are a low-risk investment for readers, and one they are more willing to make.

As a result, you are likely to sell many more copies of your serial novel than you would a full-length novel. Also, once you sell one installment, you are likely to hook readers, and they are more likely to want to buy all the installments of the novel, guaranteeing you future sales.

More Exposure for Your Brand

Because you are likely to sell more copies of a serial novel and to reach more readers, you are also likely to create more exposure for your brand: You, the author. With the additional exposure, you can create a bigger readership base, attract more reviews for your books (which will drive sales), command more sales of current and future books, create a stronger foundation from which to launch future book releases, and make yourself more attractive for a traditional book publishing deal (if you decide you want one).

Instant Feedback

As you release the installments of your serial novel, you will start to get reviews and comments. Some of these will be good, and some will be bad — just like for any book you release. However, unlike with a full-length novel that is already completed when you release it, you can use this feedback to shape how you put together the rest of the story for a serial novel. If something isn’t working, your readers will let you know, and you can fix it in future installments, strengthening the book as a whole. In many ways, it’s like collaborative writing, and your readers could very well save you from yourself and help you to make the best book you can make.

Serial novels haven’t been popular in many years — except for children’s books. However, with the rise in popularity of e-books, the serial novel for adults is making a comeback. Consider these perks of publishing a serial novel to consider whether you want to make your next novel a serial.

Have you published a serial novel? Tell us your thoughts about the process and whether you would recommend it in the comments!

About the Author: Kim Willington is a freelance writer and researcher for, where she has recently been researching help desk applications. In her spare time, she enjoys antiquing and taking walks with her retriever, Spencer.


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