Writing Serials: Win Readers And Sell More Books

Thinking about writing serials? They’re fun to write because you get reader feedback while you’re writing. They also help you to build an audience for your fiction quickly.

Writing serials means that you build your audience with each episode

If you’re writing fiction, you need to build your audience. Writing serials helps you to do that.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, you could take the scenic route if you wrote fiction. You took a year or three to get an agent, and with the agent’s support, convinced a publisher to give you a multi-book contract.

This long and leisurely process took at least two years; often much longer. Those days have gone. They’re not coming back. Today, you need to be aware of the changing marketplace and writing serials can help you to dive into a genre before Amazon gets there.

Write for today’s ever-changing marketplace

Today, the marketplaces for writing change constantly. You need to stay aware of what’s happening and be strategic when you enter a marketplace.

So, when you see an opportunity, you need to write fast, and publish fast, before the marketplace changes again.

You’ll see Amazon doing this. Amazon has over a dozen imprints. Check out any hot-selling fiction genre — you’ll find books published by Amazon in the first ten spots.

Tip: aim to discover a rising genre, before Amazon gets into that market, if you can. Rising tides lift all boats. So if you can get into a genre before Amazon dominates it, you’ll do well.

Writing serial fiction makes it easy to get into a genre that’s new to you. Serial fiction has been popular for a couple of centuries. The big benefit is simple: if readers love your story, they’ll buy every episode.

A tip: finish your serial! (Readers like to binge)

When you start writing something, finish it. Here’s why: it’s a good habit to get into. A writer’s judgment about a work in progress is pretty much useless, anyway.

When it comes to writing serials, finishing your serial is vital — you don’t know how well a serial will do until you have lots of episodes for sale. I’ve seen this repeatedly with my students.

An author contacts me about a project. While we’re chatting he tells me that he’s ready to quit his serial; he’d rather start something new. I encourage him to finish, and he does — and suddenly, when he’s almost completed the series, it takes off and sells.

So, be aware that readers may not jump aboard your series until you have a number of episodes; they like to binge-read.

Make serials part of your publication schedule, starting today

Why not clear some time in your schedule for writing serials? 

Writing a serial is a great way to enter a new genre — use a new pen name to avoid confusing readers, if you’ve established a name already.

Have fun. 🙂

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