Jen and Sophia Talk About Serial Romance

Because You Are Mine Beth KeryJen recently reviewed Beth Kery’s new serial, Because You Are Mine here at Fiction Vixen. Before this, I was not familiar with this publishing format and while I was intrigued, I was a bit skeptical as well. I rarely read a book in one sitting, but on the other hand, I can if I really want to. With a serial, it’s just not possible. While Jen devoured each installment as soon as it was available to her, I decided to wait until the entire serial was released so I could read each installment back-to-back. (I haven’t read it yet, but I will. I’m a slacker)

If you are unfamiliar this this publishing format, Jane at Dear Author has a good post on The Revival of the Serial that’s worth checking out. She discusses the history of the serial as well as the recent revival of this format.

Since this is a new-to-me format and it looks like this might be something we’re going to see more of in the future in romance, I decided to ask Jen about her thoughts on serials.

waiting

Via: LOLcats

 

Sophia: Have you ever read a serial before?

Jen: This was my first venture into serial romance. To be honest, I had never even heard of the concept before Because You Are Mine was released.

 

Sophia: This is not a format I’m familiar with but it seems this was something popular in the past. How do you feel about “the return of the serial”?

Jen: I kind of have a two part answer here. I like that it is something different. Serial stories can bring something new or fresh to the romance genre. It is something we haven’t been exposed to in many years. However….we have been doing fine without them! I think it is something publishers are trying to bring back though. Beth Kery has another serial starting in January of 2013 and I have heard rumblings of some other authors may be attempting the format also.

 

Sophia: I know from your reviews you really enjoyed this serial. The cliffhangers were torturous for you, but do you think that is part of why you loved the story so much? The anticipation?

Jen: Beth Kery had a way of ending the installment at the worst place, or the best place depending on how you looked at it. Anticipation made me speculate about what would happen next. t made the book linger in my thoughts a lot longer than any other book I have been reading. With a normal book, I finish the book in two days and move on to the next one. With Because You Are Mine I had eight weeks to think about it and wonder what was going to happen next. Eight weeks with me contemplating the same book, I think the publisher accomplished their goal!

 

Sophia: Do you think you would have enjoyed this story as much if you could have read it in one sitting?

Jen: Strangely enough, no I don’t. The way each chapter ended really made me look forward to the next week. There wouldn’t have been as much emphasis on certain things if I was able to move on to the next chapter right away. The abrupt endings became ever bigger and more dramatic when I had no idea what was going happen and I couldn’t find out by hitting the forward page button on my kindle. Of course, I am also the person that has to DVR a whole season of a show and then watch it all at the end because I cannot handle cliffhangers. So reading this book one week at a time was really hard for me.

 

Sophia: At $1.99 for each installment, and 8 installments, with each installment coming in at 50-70 pages, do you feel it was worth the price?

Jen: Let me preface this by saying I am cheap…..so no. That is a $16 book. When was the last time you paid $16 for a book, an ebook to boot? If I saw a book for that much I would cut my loses and move on to another book. The problem and the genius with the serial is, I bought the first one for $1.99 because it was only $1.99 and then I was hooked. I HAD to read the rest at that point. I couldn’t stop at the first installment and forever wonder what happened. So the smart thing to do is never buy the first installment!

 

Sophia: You were already a fan of Beth Kery’s work before you read Because You Are Mine. Do you think you would take a chance on a new-to-you author if they released a book in this format? (Even at a reduced price; say maybe .99 cents each?)

Jen: That is probably not a chance I would take for a new author. There are way too many books that give me instant gratification and only cost $7.99 or less. But then again if I did decide to give them a try only a .99 cent serial would be a decent way to start. Or you could just get a sample for free. :)

 

Sophia: I’m looking forward to seeing if this publishing format gains some traction and becomes something we’ll see more of in the future. I’m not completely sold on the concept, but I have to admit I like the idea of the anticipation and being excited for the next installment. Sort of like looking forward to the next episode of Sons of Anarchy or Game of Thrones. But the pricing might be a deal-breaker for me.

Jen: My biggest question will be what they do with the book now? Will they bundle it together and charge $16 or at some point, maybe a year out, will we see a reduced price? Or is it once a serial always a serial? That will really affect how I moved forward with serial romances. I am with you though, the pricing is a bit much. I can buy two new release books for that price.

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You Tell Us – What are your thoughts on serial publication?

  • Did you read each installment of Because You Are Mine as it was released?
  • Or do you plan to start reading it now that each release is available?
  • Do you like the idea of reading a book in installments and having something to look forward to each week?
  • Or are you totally opposed to reading a book in this format?
  • If you don’t like this format, is it the price? Having to wait? Or is something else that keeps you from reading serials?

 

Comments

  1. Mandi says

    So I tried the Beth Kery serial and read the first two parts but honestly – I just wanted to read the whole thing in one sitting. I got distracted week to week. I needed the complete, final product.

    I wonder if they will bundle it eventually too..I hope. For a reduced price. I won’t pay $16 for it.

    I don’t think I am a fan of serials now that I’ve attempted one….

      • Mandi says

        Hmm..probably not having the book all at once. If I love something, I’ll pay for it. – or I mean, if I love an author’s previous work I’d pay.

        But – $16 is steep. So….I don’t know!

  2. Angela says

    The only serial I’ve read is The Green Mile by Stephen King when it was put out in the 1990’s, but it was put out 100 pages at a time, once a month for 6 months. With that storyline I think the serial format worked. I was hooked after book one.

    I’ve never tried it with romance, so I may pick these up to try.

  3. says

    After I heard that it was only 2 chapters and the price seemed a bit high for only 2 chapters, ummmm…. I think I’d wait. BUt right now I”m not sure about getting it yet b/c of the price. Maybe I’ll wait and see if they release in a bundle and the price goes down.

  4. Amy says

    Definitely not a fan. I feel like it’s the publishers way to inflate the price and I would never pay it unless it was an author I really, really loved. (And I mean realllly love.) Even then, I would still wait until the entire story was available. I want it all at once, or not at all, lol.

  5. LethalLovely says

    The idea of paying $16 for any book is deplorable in my opinion. The waiting every week for a new installment doesn’t bother me. After all, a little anticipation is welcoming. But to charge that much money in this economy? Not only no, but HELL no. I wouldn’t even spend that amount on Illona Andrews & I worship the ground they walk on. I’ve never spent more than $12 for a book & I’m not picky about how I get it. If it’s cheaper in ebook than print, to ebook I go & vice versa. I’m taking Jen’s advice &

    never buy the first installment!

    UNLESS the publishers/authors reduce their prices of each installment.

    BTW, forgive me if this question was already answered, but does anyone know how many words/pages was Kerry’s serial altogether?

      • LethalLovely says

        Thank you very much for the prompt responses, ladies! 400 pages isn’t bad. I’m glad Kerry & company didn’t rip you off with a low page count.

        If people have the money to pay $16 total for a serial, I’m not hating. But baby don’t have it like that & I know a lot of readers who are in the same boat. I’m waiting for Tangle of Need to come out in MMP because I’m unwilling to pay the price of the hardback.

  6. camille says

    I loved this series. I couldn’t wait for each installment to arrive and basically inhaled each one as they showed up in my Kindle. Beth Kerry is one of my favorite authors and I find her writing style lends itself to this format. Her edgy and suspenseful stories naturally contain cliffhangers that provide good stopping points for each installment. I will inhale another series of hers in a heartbeat! I’m not sure I would as impressed by a more vanilla author’s writing in this format.

    • says

      Excellent point. I inhaled the installments too but then cursed when they ended. I felt like they just started when they would end.

  7. Angela M says

    If the installments were 99¢, this would be a good deal, but I wouldn’t pay more than that. I balk at JR Ward’s prices. I’m terribly addicted to BDB, so of course, I pay, but that’s an extreme exception for me. I think they’d get a ton more sales and make more in the long run if they brought the price point down a bit.

  8. says

    I’m not a fan of serial format. I dislike my reading being divided up over days, let alone weeks! I will, however, probably grab a copy of it if it’s bundled together and the price is reasonable.

    I really like Beth Kery’s voice and would love to read this, but I’m not paying that much. I miss buying mass market books for $4.99 – $5.99 and think that was a much more reasonable price point. Even today’s standard $7.99 irritates me, although obviously I still suck it up and buy stuff. I find it even more ridiculous to pay that same price for an ebook and rarely do unless I’m hard up or gifting something to an ebook loving friend. I recently read On Dublin Street and it was only $3.99–and it was a great book to boot. I think that’s an awesome price and will buy the hell out of her books if that trend continues.

    So $1.99 for a couple of chapters? Not only no, but hell no!

    P.S. If the serial format continues, how will it be formatted for library use? Will people check out a single segment or will it be bundled for the borrower?

    • says

      I started reading ebooks when they were less expensive than paperbacks, now they are the same price. I’ve been looking to less epensive ebooks and self published more and more. Look at Kristen Ashley… $3.99 to $4.99 for hers and you get a great read.

      On Dublin Street was was sooo good. One of my favorites I’ve read this year.

        • says

          I just read her Rock Chick series and it’s like crack, you just can’t stop yourself. I do think they are editted about the same as RL Mattewson.

            • says

              I seriously adore the RC series. As for the editing, strangely enough once you start reading you don’t notice it as much. That sounds weird but it seems to be the case.

              Angela- You JUST read RC? That was like my favorite series of hers! And On Dublin Street will be in my top ten for 2012 too. I loved that book.

              ITA with what you guys said about price point. Guess that illustrates the big difference between self-pub and not.

  9. Lexi says

    Huh, serial romance. Never heard of it before (do I live under a rock?….perhaps)
    They suck you in with 1.99 and you are doomed…ha!

  10. says

    Or are you totally opposed to reading a book in this format? If you don’t like this format, is it the price? Having to wait? Or is something else that keeps you from reading serials?

    I was interested in reading this series but it’s just too expensive for me. It feels like a ploy to get people to pay more for less. If they bundle the books into one ebook and sell it at a reasonable price, maybe I’ll get it.

  11. says

    I saw people reviewing it, but I haven’t really looked into it much because I want to be able to read on to the next bit if I want to. I think the total altogether for the size of the book is a lot – maybe if it was an author I already was familiar with & really liked, I could just about spend that much on a book, but not in ebook form, at all. If I’m going to spend the same amount of money as a physical book would cost, I’d like to have one I can read in bed and put on my bookshelf, thank you very much.

    The pricing strategy reminds me a little of how Amanda Hocking did it when her books were still self-pubbed – the first in the trilogy was only a couple of dollars, then once you decided you liked it & needed the next bit, the other 2 books were more like $6 or 7.
    I think for me to be interested in a serial, all the parts would have to be at a low cost – maybe a dollar each? I’m not really convinced about the idea though.

    ~Ailsa

  12. vivian says

    I don’t like the idea of a serial series. I like my story to be a whole not halves. It would irrtate me to no end to have to wait each week for another bit of the story. And if the price was more than the story was worth. I hope my favorite Authors don’t try that idea, I will be happy. Or I won’t buy their stories. I say N-O NO.