Serialized fiction is an old trend that is enjoying a resurgence due to indie publishing. The first novel serials appeared in the 19th century, when the invention of moveable type made it possible to print larger runs of books. That, combined with rising literacy, allowed authors like Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas and Herman Melville to release their works in short-form bites.
These books – The Pickwick Papers (Dickens), The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas) and Moby Dick (Melville), went on to become household names and still enjoy a wide readership to this day.
The modern form of serialized fiction is a trend that was picked up by indie authors through platforms like Amazon, which offers a program where authors can release their novels in instalments.
Self-publishing guru Hugh Howey was one of the first indie authors to embrace the form, releasing his wildly popular WOOL series initially as five short "novellas".
Even traditionally published authors have toyed around with the idea of serialized fiction in the past. Master of horror Stephen King released The Green Mile as a serial novel comprising of six volumes back in the 1990's.
Authors are fast realizing the many benefits of serialized fiction in the rapid-fire world of digital publishing. The rise of people reading on smartphones, tablets and eReaders mean that readers are increasingly looking for stories or books they can devour in one sitting. Serialization is the perfect way to break up novel-length works into digestible chunks.
There are several Booktrack authors, like Demon Wolf's Danielle Harjo, who are using the platform to release serialized work. Novel serials are very popular on Booktrack. Each new "chunk" released brings back your readers, and leaves them wanting more. It also means you can break up the writing and soundtrack work into smaller pieces, giving you more time to work on each piece.
So next time you are creating a Booktrack, why not try doing it as a serial? It's a great way to use an old Victorian art form in a creative way - for a new generation of readers!