Serial Releases

I just learned about John Scalzi’s new story in thirteen parts, The Human Division. The series is set up to release a new $.99 episode every Tuesday. Up front, I’ll say that I’m a huge fan of John Scalzi. His Old Man’s War books are a premium example of what I think modern social science fiction is about. There’s plenty of action, lots of nicely built science fiction worlds and toys, and the whole series is inspired by the tough questions about what it means to be human in some very challenging circumstances.

What’s really interesting is that I released my first story in serial format, mostly by accident, I’ll admit, and it has done far better than I ever hoped. Hugh Howey (another excellent choice) was right behind me with his Wool series. For all I know, he was way ahead of me. I’m just going by release dates. I know it has gone even better for him.

So, now we have a top-of-the-line, bestselling science fiction author like John Scalzi taking a crack at the $.99 serial release method. I know I’ll buy it. Thirteen bucks is a lot cheaper than the hardcover books that I purchased with his name on the cover. (Bonus! Only one of those hardcovers has been chewed by a dog) I wonder, with his name, if Mr. Scalzi will get as many people as I did asking him if selling his story in one-dollar chunks is a scheme to rip them off. I certainly hope not.

5 thoughts on “Serial Releases”

  1. Thanks Jim,

    I will check those out.

    I am a fan of serialized fiction. I think the indie author doing it the best that I have come across at the moment is Ryk Brown with his Frontier Saga. $3.00 a book and they are a decent couple of hours or so read, about what you would get from renting a move at %40 of the cost. Highly recommend them and he puts another out every 3 or 4 months. He also responds to all his Amazon readers on his Amazon discussion forums in a day or two max.

    Very ready for Renewal/Decay/ Promise 🙂 and appreciate your recommendation of something to “distract” me until they come out 🙂

    • Thinking as a reader and buyer, 299 pennies seems a lot different from 99, but as a writer, I like the 20,000 words for a dollar concept. Of course, for longer books the economy of scale comes into play.

      It should be noted that Stable boy’s 2-hour’s read is more like 5 hours for the rest of us. He’s done some test reading for me, and the man is FAST!

  2. Great just great I did not know about Scalzi’s newest release now I will have to get on board. I love his Old Mans War series. It is one of the few series that I have duplicated over into buying in Ebook after buying in hard cover. Another author who did do the serial format well was Sean Platt, David Wright and Matt Gartland doing the Tomorrows Gone series. I read Wool enjoyed the first but lost interest after that though. John Locke has also had a great deal of success with his Donovan Creed series priced pretty low for shorter stories.

  3. Hi Jim – I’m devouring Scalzi’s serial as we speak. He’s been able to do his chapters almost as standalone short stories – to a large extent, reading in order isn’t necessary. I get the feel of episodic TV, just much better content than most episodic TV these days.

    Redshirts is another Scalzi novel that’s worth a look; I don’t think anyone has mentioned that title yet.

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