Serials are back. Serials are novella-length or short-story-length writings that present an extended story in episodes or volumes.
Some writers of serial stories have begun to group them into “seasons,” imitating the TV shows. Some serial titles may be only four or five volumes, while others may have dozens of volumes. Serials are now available in just about every genre of fiction. Decades ago, serials were very popular. They followed the same formula as the soap operas of early radio and TV.
How are they different from a regular book series? In several aspects.
- The entire collection of volumes develops one main story with its central characters.
- Each episode leaves you waiting for the next one. There are often cliff-hangers that motivate you to get the next volume. Not all serial authors use cliff-hangers.
- Each volume is usually readable in one sitting, although this also depends on your reading speed. A serial volume that has thirty pages may be read in one sitting, while one that is eighty pages will definitely take longer.
- Serials, because of their length, are usually cheaper than regular novels. At Amazon, they usually range between $0.99 and $2.99, with the shorter ones being the cheapest.
Serials are wonderful for readers who like to sit down and relax for an hour or so with a short read that leaves them excited for the next installment. Because the volumes are cheap, they’re a good option for those readers on budget. Serials tend to be packed with action and drama, as the author must keep you coming back for more. Also, because the project is on-going, readers can give the author input as to what they’d like to see in future volumes.
I am so intrigued by the idea of serials that I published my own paranormal romance serial. It’s titled Vampires in the Mist serial. The first volume is already available. I promise, it’s worth reading and there’s No Cliff-Hanger in volume one!