Why publish The Cursing Stone in serial form?

 I’ve debated the wisdom of doing this, and there are good arguments pro and con.

Authors from Charles Dickens to James Joyce to Margaret Atwood have published their novels in instalments*. Tom Wolfe first published Bonfire of the Vanities in Rolling Stone. Andy Weir wrote The Martian as a blog. For a quick overview, see The Serial Novel: A Brief History with 30 Examples by Andrea Schlottman in booksonthewall.com.

To serialise The Cursing Stone, I’ve emulated the format of a video mini-series, including Bonus Materials. (Sorry, no gag reel.)

I’ve used ConvertKit software to organise and distribute the instalments. The weekly instalments and the mid-week Bonus Materials are structured as an “Evergreen Newsletter”. Whenever any reader signs up, they receive the entire novel, beginning with the first chapter.

Why offer the entire novel instead of a three-chapter teaser? It boils down to personal choices:

  • I’d like to build a readership.

  • I’d like to solicit reviews from readers who enjoy historical fiction.

  • I’ll also like to hear your thoughts about reading the serialised novel. Are the instalments too long? Too short? Do you enjoy the Bonus Material? Would two instalments each week be better than one?

Like most literary questions, the answer is in the hands of the readers. If this works, I have another novel a crime yarn to share.

More to follow,

Tom Sigafoos

 

*How do you spell “instalments”? Anglo-Irish dictionaries specify one “l ”, but my American instincts make me want to write “installments”.

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