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Another Pride and Prejudice sequel

Hobnob with Authors

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Jan 17, 2012, 9:59pm Top

I've had it with trying to place this book traditionally, but I still think it's good. I've decided to release Mary and Kitty: A Tale of Two Sisters as a serialized novel, at about a chapter per week.

I'll post entries about process, ideas, plot decisions, etc., as I move forward.
I hope you will take a look at Mary and Kitty, and let me know what you think :)

Thank you so much!

Jan 18, 2012, 12:51am Top

Where are you going to publish it?

Jan 18, 2012, 2:49am Top

When I'm done I'll approach university presses. For now, I'm emulating Charles Dickens with the serialization. It will be interesting to see if readers offer suggestions as I go along. I would love that.

Jan 18, 2012, 8:11am Top

Mary, how very interesting that you mentioned the serialization approach. I was just contemplating the same thing myself, and wondering (1) how modern readers feel about reading a novel in serialized format, and (2) how you as an author plan to handle the actual release?

As a reader, I'd be quite open to the serialized approach; I read extremely quickly, and such a format would allow me to (a) decide whether I liked it enough after the first chapter or so to keep going, and (b) if I did, prolong the enjoyment of the book.

As an author, I considered this approach because, among other things, knowing you had an audience waiting for the next installment seems it would give you considerable motivation to stay on track with writing the novel, especially if they were paying customers.

Which brings up the 3rd and final question, related to #2 (above) - would you be releasing the serialization free, or charging, and if charging, how? Per "issue", or an up-front fee for the entire work?

Would love to discuss more your ideas, and hear from other readers/authors about their perspective...

Best regards,

Jan 18, 2012, 10:26am Top

Thinking about successful modern serials, the first examples that come to mind are Tales of the city and 44 Scotland Street. They seem to have owed a lot of their early success to local interest - they both appeared in one of the main newspapers of the city where they were set - and to their ability to incorporate current events and reader reactions into the storyline "on the fly". But I should think you have to be extremely lucky or know the right people to be able to place a serial in a newspaper...

Jan 18, 2012, 12:44pm Top

Lawrence Watt Evans has run several paid-for serials - see http://www.ethshar.com/TheFinalCalling0.html for details of how

Jan 18, 2012, 12:51pm Top

Cordelia Underwood by Van Reid (probably one of my favorite books ever) also started out as a serialization.

Mary, did you check out Sourcebooks as a potential publisher? They're an enthusiastic publisher of Jane Austen continuations and JA-inspired fiction.

Jan 18, 2012, 5:50pm Top

Thanks everyone!

For now, I've decided to make this a free release. I'm hoping that a following will get me off my sorry derriere -- I've had several chapters rattling around for a couple of years and I need to get it written. I can still publish it traditionally or independently when the time comes, and have some word of mouth going as I proceed.

I will check out Sourcebooks, Marissa. Sounds like a great resource.

I'm using Blogger as the delivery vehicle and I'm allowing ads. I'm not supposed to tell readers to click the ads, but they seem to be pretty lucrative so far (about a dollar a click). Short of adding flashing arrows, though, I don't think there's a way to encourage "clicking behavior".

So far they are in good taste -- universities, etc. -- no Viagra!


Jan 18, 2012, 8:57pm Top

If you're writing as you go, the one piece of advice I will give -- well, two, but they're closely related -- is work ahead so that you can keep to a schedule. I've seen one or two authors' web serialization attempts completely derailed because they encountered writers' block or life got in the way, and they couldn't keep to the promised schedule. Readers -- including me, in one case -- stopped checking for updates and eventually gave up. Figure out how fast you write, then announce and stick to a release schedule that's half that speed -- if you write a chapter a month, release one every two, and don't start until you have three or so ready to go. And stick to the schedule -- you've built in room for slippage so that you can. Set up an RSS feed so your readers know when the next chapter is up, and they don't need to keep manually checking or forget about it.

If you're going to publish the whole thing when you're done, consider offering a subscription to the readers of the serialized version -- if they pay up front they get a discount. But you're going to royally piss them off if you do this and don't finish the book, so make sure you can finish!

Short of adding flashing arrows, though, I don't think there's a way to encourage "clicking behavior".

Flashing arrows would be very counterproductive. You may want to consider a Paypal tip jar; many people will be more willing to directly give a buck or two to an author than to click through a stupid ad.

Jan 18, 2012, 10:54pm Top

I had no idea PP had a tip jar. What a great idea.

Thanks for you input, especially the caveats. I'll add the RSS for sure.

I am really interested in writing processes myself -- how do you think readers would respond to posts about the process, ruminations on plot choices, etc. (as long as they are marked as such so they can be skipped rather than being lumped with the chapters)?

Mar 30, 2012, 6:40pm Top

See follow-up in a new thread: "Experiment Update"

Apr 1, 2012, 1:00pm Top

Best of luck, Mary! Looking forward to reading it, since Mary and Kitty were actually my favorite Bennet sisters after Lizzy.

Apr 1, 2012, 6:04pm Top

Thank you so much, Ellen -- I've always felt a little sorry for them. Clearly just there in order to add to Mrs. Bennet's matchmaking burden. Jane is (to me) annoying good, and Lydia is just plain annoying!

I just downloaded the Kindle version of Tallis' Third Tune. Looking forward!

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