Author Guest Post: Serial or Series? by Megan Hart *Giveaway*

I am so excited to have one of my favorite authors, Megan Hart here today at Fiction Vixen.

everypart of you5TAKESME everypart of you4DENIES ME everypart of you3TAUNTS ME everypart of you2RESISTS ME everypart of you1TEMPTS ME

 Serial or Series? by Megan Hart

In the romance reading world, the book series has been a popular format for a long time. And what’s not to love? When we fall in love with characters or a world, the best thing ever is to get more and more and more of what we crave! More recently, the romance serial has started to gain popularity, too.

But isn’t a series and serial the same thing?

Both feature multiple pieces to an overall story. Both are released over time (though the time between installments can be short or, to the avid reader, unbearably long.)So what’s the difference between a serial and a series? To me, the major difference is the story each is telling.

A series will follow characters and a plot over the course of multiple books, with each book telling a piece of an overall story, yet individually telling its own complete story (sometimes with a cliffhanger ending, sometimes without.) Multiple books, each telling its own complete story that fits into a longer plot.

A serial is one story divided into several shorter pieces, each making up one part of the overall story completed at the end of the serial. Multiple shorter pieces, each telling part of the overall story to reach a full plot by the end.

Clear as mud, right? And opinions may vary on the differences, too! But for me, writing a serial was a very different approach than if I’d been writing a series.

For me, Every Part of You is one story, the romance between Simone and Elliott, two strangers who discover they have a lot more in common than either would have believed. Each piece of Every Part of You – Tempts Me, Resists Me, Taunts Me, Denies Me and Takes Me, tells one piece of their overall journey. They meet, feel their attraction, give in to it, deny it, and at last accept it. Because each short piece fits together like a puzzle to make an overall picture and is being released separately, it’s a serial. Not a series.

For readers who love digital serials, Every Part of You is meant to indulge your cravings to nibble at pieces and draw out the anticipation (in this case, two weeks at a time.) But readers who aren’t fans of the serial, never fear! When the entire serial has been released, you’ll be able to pick up the entire collection and gobble it to your heart’s content! And because it’s only five pieces, your wait is a mere few weeks, not months or yikes, a year!

Here are the titles and release dates for Every Part of You:

Every Part of You: Tempts Me, available 2/4/14

Every Part of You: Resists Me, available 2/18/14

Every Part of You: Taunts Me, available 3/4/14

Every Part of You: Denies Me, available 3/18/14

Every Part of You: Takes Me, available 4/1/14

 

everypart of you1TEMPTS MEEvery Part of You Tempts Me

She likes to watch. He likes to keep hidden. Total opposites on a collision course to a relationship neither can deny.

Simone Kahan’s been watching Elliott Anderson through her office window for months. He likes to bring women back to his office for late-night trysts, and Simone enjoys her voyeurism until one night, Elliott appears to go too far with his date. The other woman might not be into spanking, but Simone is, and when she meets Elliott in the elevator later that night, she makes sure he’s intrigued enough by her to ask her to go with him to the party he no longer has a date for.

Thrown together by circumstances he’d never have imagined, Elliott isn’t sure what to think about Simone. She’s nothing like the women he normally dates, but something about her draws him in until he can’t stop himself from wanting her…until their goodnight kiss becomes something harder. Harsher.  Simone responds to his rough hands as no woman ever has, and Elliott’s not ready to pursue what he’s always told himself is wrong.

Excerpt: Every Part of You Tempts Me (#1)

When they pulled up in front of her building, she squeezed his knee again. “Walk me upstairs.”

Elliott sighed, but didn’t protest. Simone couldn’t stop herself from smiling, not that she let him see her, as she led him to the elevator. She was giving him a hard time about being a pain in the ass, which was true. He totally was. But she’d been on worse dates, with bigger assholes than Elliott Anderson, and the fact was that his terse attitude intrigued her more than it made her mad. Oh, yeah, he’d been a little brusque tonight. Impolite, though immediately recognizing it when she’d pointed it out. Acknowledging it, if not contritely at least sincerely. She was having a helluva time figuring him out.

She liked that.

Maybe that made her kind of sick, but that wasn’t anything she didn’t already know about herself. She’d always been drawn to arrogant men, the ones who thought they knew best. Those were the ones who could give her what she craved. The problem with men like that was they were also the ones who felt like they had the right to tell her what to do.

Elliott was different. She’d known that for a while, watching him bring the parade of blondes into his office. Fucking them on his desk, sometimes without so much as a kiss beforehand. The way his hands always found their way into their hair, pulling. The roughness with which he handled them. But she’d watched him do other things in that office, too, things that had told her a lot more about his personality even than the way he fucked.

She’d seen him clean his desk phone with an antiseptic wipe and eat Chinese food from a container with chopsticks he pulled from a wooden case out of his desk drawer. She’d watched him bent over his computer, scowling, and she’d watched him with his cell phone pressed to his ear, face alight with laughter. She’d seen him working and playing. It was kind of creepy, actually, how much she knew about him from watching him after hours. What would happen if he knew everything she knew about him, she thought as she pushed the fourth-floor button and watched him lean against the interior elevator railing across from her.

“I’m at the end of the hall.”

“Of course you are,” Elliott said in a half-weary voice, though he followed her. “I guess you expect me to make sure you get inside okay, too.”

“Yes.” Simone bit back another smile.

“Do you want me to go inside with you?” He asked as she fit her key into the lock and pushed open the heavy wooden door. “Make sure there’s no serial killer lurking behind the shower curtain, that sort of thing?”

He might be a pain in the ass, but that dry sense of humor was the cherry on top of the panty-dampening cake. Simone turned to face him as he came through the doorway behind her. She tossed her keys into the small bowl on the table by the door.

“I don’t have a shower curtain. But tell you what,” she said, “since you came all this way, you could kiss me good night.”

He’d been looking around her apartment when she said that, blatantly assessing everything from her couch to the art on her walls, and at this, his head swung slowly toward her. “Kiss. You?”

“It might surprise you to realize this,” Simone said, annoyed and amused and also a little aroused, “but I don’t usually have to even ask.”

“No. I don’t suppose you do.”

The way he said it gave her a little shiver from the base of her neck all the way down her spine, where it lodged. Simone didn’t move closer to him. He didn’t move closer to her.

For a long few seconds she thought he wasn’t actually going to kiss her, and she would have to make the first move, because there was no way in hell she was going to let him out of here without at least tasting his mouth, just once. But then she didn’t have to worry, because Elliott reached for her, his fingers brushing her sleeve, then closing on her wrist.

It still ached a little from his earlier grip. More a memory of the small pain he’d inflicted than any real discomfort, but her heart skipped a beat anyway. Her nipples tightened. The shiver that had traveled down her spine now spread outward, turning electric, sending heat through her belly and between her legs.

“Come here,” Elliott said.

 Giveaway

Readers who like serials or series, what do you love about them? Do you think of them as different things? Comment here to win a copy of Every Part of You: Tempts Me (#1)! (It’s digital only, which means you must be able to get your prize from Amazon.com, BN.com, Kobo.com or iBookstore in the USA). Contest ends Feb. 21, winner announced soon after.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Justine says

    Serials and series are definitely different. Serials are like TV episodes. Series are like movies. I know the goal of of serials is to generate more sales, but I wait for bundled completed serials because they’re usually lower in cost than individual pieces of a serial summed together. I’m a patient consumer and there’s never anything I need to read (or watch) immediately, so I don’t mind waiting.

    • says

      Thanks for commenting, Justine! I feel both ways — I don’t have cable, so all my TV is consumed via streaming. There are shows I discovered late and can gorge myself on, finishing a season in a week, but the shows I MUST watch that are currently running, I try to catch up on right away. And I like your description of serial versus series…movies versus TV episodes.

      The best part, to me, is that no matter how you like to read them, you can get them one by one or wait and read them all at once!

  2. Shay Alford says

    I love books in a series because I know when I get done with one, there’s another to look forward to! I especially like them if it’s a good series.

    • says

      Wheeee! I do love to sink into a great world and really devour it, Shay. That’s the best, when you find a new series to adore!

  3. Olivia says

    I’ve never tried serials, on account that there usually released so far apart, but 2 weeks isn’t such a long wait. And as for the difference between series and serials? Well, think you explained it best. Serials is the continuation of the same story broken up and series is same characters in maybe different story. Did that make sense? Thanks for the give away!

  4. Amy R says

    If a series is a cliffhanger I will still buy but wait to read until all books have been released. For serials I will typically wait until all installments have been published and the bundle is released before I purchase.

    • says

      Makes sense to me, Amy!

      I don’t wait. I’m one of the ones who’s like “ok, when’s the next one out? when? when?”

      Of course READING them takes time…haha! I might buy them but not read for a bit.

  5. cayenne says

    I generally don’t love serials because when I start reading, I’d like to read the whole story at once. I don’t mind ones that come out in quick succession – weekly or bi-weekly is fine – but I’m still likely to buy the installments and wait until I have them all before I start reading. For short serials, this isn’t a problem, but there are some out there that seem to be never-ending and released over a long period (H.M. Ward “The Arrangement” is at 13 effin installments released over the course of a year so far, no end in sight!) and the author or publisher may risk my losing interest before they’re all released.

    My biggest problem, however, is pricing. Some serial installments are overpriced versus their aggregate novel cost. For example, Beth Kery’s “Because You Are Mine” and “When I’m With You”, Opal Carew’s “His To Command” and “His To Possess”, and Roni Loren’s “Not Until You” serials were all $2+ x 8 installments, resulting in me spending $16-17 per complete story, which feels too much in comparison to other ebooks, even full novels, but when the complete editions came out, they were $11-12, and that still feels like it’s a bit high. They were all very good and well-written stories by authors that I enjoy, but if I’m already prepared to wait to read the completed serial, I can certainly wait a bit longer to save myself some dough.

    That being said, I’ve already bought the first 2 installments of this serial, because Megan’s an auto-buy for me (she’s annotated her grocery list? here’s my credit card). But I’m still waiting for the last 3 installments to come out before I start reading :)

    • says

      Pricing is an issue, I agree, and one that unfortunately the author can’t control (unless they’re self publishing.) But thank you for buying the serial, even if you’re not going to read it right away! :)

  6. Naomi says

    I tend to prefer series both for pricing reasons and because installments of serials tend to be shorter than I want. (I read quickly.)

  7. Bernie says

    Honestly price isn’t a issue with me unless it CRAZY high. I read ALOT and fast! I don’t watch tv lol. Because I read so fast installments slow me down to savor each part!
    Megan I am such a FAN!!!!!!!! Where do you live ? Lol
    Peace,
    Bernie

  8. erinf1 says

    I like series b/c I’m a glutton for more of characters/worlds that I enjoy :) Congrats to Megan on the new release and thanks for sharing!

  9. Maureen says

    I do enjoy series but I don’t think I have read a serial. I think of a series as connected stories which can also stand on their own and a serial as a story told in small sections. I enjoy revisiting characters from previous stories when reading a series.

  10. Glittergirl says

    I’m not a big fan of serials. I usually avoid them until they’re complete if I’ve decided to invest. I want to know before hand how many there will be, how much they will cost (more than a mass market book?) and if they have cliffhangers. I’ll decide if I want to collect them but I’ll wait to read them until it’s complete because I want the whole story right away. I tend to read series romance the same way, depends on the author and how fast they are going to be released. I follow too may authors/series to keep the stories an characters straight over a year…

  11. Jen B. says

    When I encountered my first serial romance I was sure I would hate it, be frustrated by it and never want to read another one. What I discovered was that I enjoyed getting a little piece of the story at a time and I looked forward to getting the next tidbit soon! Sometimes series make me feel tense because I have to wait a year or more to get the next installment. In fact, sometimes I don’t read a series until the first 2 or 3 books are available.

  12. Sharon says

    Love series/serials – when you get a good one you become so involved in the lives of the characters, unlike a stand alone where you read and it is gone. I prefer serials.

    • says

      I’m not sure I’d say I prefer serials. Or even series. A really good standalone book that just rocks my world can be so perfect that I don’t want anything to ruin it!

  13. bn100 says

    Not really a fan of serials because you have to wait for each installment and they usually end in cliffhangers

    • says

      Yes, you do have to wait, ‘cuz that’s how they’re made. But I hear you — the format isn’t for everyone!

      When writing Every Part of You, I tried to end each segment in a way that encouraged the reader to read more, but wasn’t a huge cliffhanger.

  14. infinitieh says

    I remember serials from when I was a kid; some magazines would have serials. And sometimes I just couldn’t wait to read the next issue.

    A series is different though because each book would wrap up the plotline, even with a cliffhanger, in that book (as opposed to a story arc that goes through the entire series).

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