I watched Neil Gaiman’s speech to the University of the Arts class the other day, which has been growing in popularity across the internet. I was first introduced to Gaiman in the one and only semester of college I completed, an honors Western Literature course that focused on the theme of God and religion in Western works. I loved the course and the works we covered throughout the semester, yet Gaiman stood out to me the most, despite being introduced alongside other popular authors.
During the course, part of the required reading was Gaiman’s The Sandman, Vol. 3: Dream Country. I never found much interest in graphic novels or comic books, even as a kid, but since the course (and such popular book-to-film adaptations as V for Vendetta and the like), I’ve found a growing interest in the format. Likewise, I’ve also long-supported the episodic-gaming format (though that hasn’t panned out very well for most publishers) and have been doing research about writing a TV show. So why not publish serial fiction?
Despite the fact that my serial fiction may be likely to fail, I’m still sure to learn about writing shorter stories, how to improve my writing, and how to ensure I stay committed to such a project. I’ve always loved deadlines – I work my best under them, especially if I find myself closer to the end without a finished work. And this way, I’ll get some work published rather quickly, spread my name, and hopefully build up a readerbase. It’s not as large a project as Ascent to Heresy (which I’ve recently pulled out of the drawer for rewrites).
My biggest concern about publishing a serial isn’t sticking to the schedule I’ll set for myself or making sure I’ll have storylines figured out in advance. I’m more worried about finding a decent method of publishing the serial. So, I pose to you the situation I’m leaning towards:
Before publishing, for lack of a better phrase at the moment, “Episode One,” I’m going to make sure I’ve written at least two more. I’m thinking a weekly release would be fairly easy to stick to, and in the same vein as Ray Bradbury when he first began publishing short stories. What I intend to do is list each episode via Amazon KDP for $0.99 – $1.99 and every four episodes publish a compilation with a bonus, unreleased short story included for $2.99 – $4.99. For those writers reading this, is this an effective strategy, and for those who are readers, is this something that would be fair and interesting to you?
Please let me know via comments if this is a viable strategy for self-publishing and what you feel about serials and the details I’ve covered by posting in the comments or contacting me. I look forward to hearing from you!