Should you serialise your novel on Kindle… like I did? The results of my launch experiment

About a month ago, I launched My Memories of a Future Life on Kindle in 4 parts. A Dickensian adventure in serialisation, rekindled for the ebook generation.

I had great fun and plenty of hair-tearing. For instance, it was never clear exactly how long the Kindle store would take to make the episodes live, so I had to publish days in advance and keep them quiet until the witching hour. (Some of you still seemed to find them…) My computer was starting to look like a duplication hallucination with multiple covers, textfiles and whatnot.

But was it a good idea? If you’re releasing an ebook, should you serialise too? Today Jane Friedman has invited me to her blog to tell all.

Not that Jane?

Jane is a former publisher at Writer’s Digest and a prolific and respected speaker on writing, publishing, and the future of media, including South by Southwest, BookExpo America, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Her expertise has been featured by sources such as NPR’s Morning Edition, Publishers Weekly, GalleyCat, PBS, The Huffington Post, and Mr. Media. She has consulted with a range of nonprofits, businesses, and creative professionals, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Creative Work Fund, and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. It says it all that one of her nicknames is ‘Not-that Jane’.

Before I started, I wondered in a blog post if serialising my novel would be genius or plain dumb. Come to Jane’s blog, where I confess all…

3 ways to try My Memories of a Future Life: Read a sample on Kindle, or on Bookbuzzr – or I can read it to you

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  1. #1 by Matthew Weigand on October 5, 2011 - 7:57 pm

    Great topic. I myself have been pondering where the kindle will take publication.

    • #2 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on October 5, 2011 - 11:14 pm

      We’re the ones taking it there, Matthew – and more daringly than conventional publishers are.

  2. #3 by Sally on October 6, 2011 - 4:21 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience Roz. It’s most interesting. Reading some of the comments on your post at that blog, I’m curious: was your word count part of the reason you serialised your novel? You didn’t mention that as a reason in your post. I’ve got a feeling you’ve mentioned it elsewhere, but can’t recall.

    • #4 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on October 7, 2011 - 7:02 pm

      Hi Sally
      Yes and no. No, I didn’t think it was too big to sell in one go, but yes I could split it up and offer plenty for the try-me price. After all, I had no track record to prove my books were readable – although millions of people have enjoyed my books they don’t know they were reading me. So it was a way to let the novel prove itself. Could have been deeply embarrassing, though…

      • #5 by Sally on October 8, 2011 - 5:40 pm

        Thanks Roz. Well, it sounds like a winning formula. If others follow, you’ll be able to add ‘pioneer of serialised novels’ (of the 21st century) to your list of credentials. 🙂

        Are you likely to do this again with a future project?

        • #6 by rozmorris @dirtywhitecandy on October 9, 2011 - 8:52 am

          You’re not the first person to ask me if I’d do it again, Sally. It depends. This time it was worth doing it as a pioneering exercise; that alone made it worth the effort as the novelty (sorry) gave me an extra excuse to talk about it. It wouldn’t have been worth doing at all if the novel would have been ruined by it – but as I find the four-part structure naturally pleasing then it’s likely that other novels will fit quite well.

          Who knows?

  3. #7 by DazyDayWriter on October 9, 2011 - 3:06 am

    Hi Roz, great to see you over at Jane’s place! I was wondering how this wonderful project was going. Seemed like you were working very hard at this and I hoped it had panned out for you. Very creative, very innovative. You are a trailblazer, no doubt. I think in today’s world one must strive to think outside the box (pardon the cliche). Steve Jobs might agree with that! So keep up the great work. You know I’m a FAN! –Best always, Daisy @ SunnyRoomStudio

  1. #Tuesdayserial Report – Vol 2, Week 24 – Oct 11, 2011 | Tuesday Serial
  2. kindle tips

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