Jen 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.
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.
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?