When I started publishing The Compact Universe, I was convinced that serialization was the way to go. The Sterling & Stone guys, who do the Self Publishing Podcast, serialize most of their work. Writer Athena Grayson also does it with her Huntress series. It just seemed logical to do that with The First One’s Free and structure Gimme Shelter for it.
That’s the idea. The execution…
There were a number of technical problems with it, but most people don’t really feel like forking out 99 cents for a 26-page episode. Athena’s Huntress of the Star Empire constitutes a 100K + novel when put together, and The Beam: Season 1 (by Sterling & Stone’s Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt) is about 124,o00 words altogether. It makes sense to break up a long work into episodes. But the work also has to be written like a long TV series. I may do that someday, but The First One’s Free, which already meanders between several point-of-view characters, is only 36,000 words, not quite a TV season’s worth of episodes.
Gimme Shelter is a similarly short novella, as its follow-up, Tishla, will be. I’m writing a ton of novellas around the eventual novel. It could be that novel #2 might end up being a series of novellas itself with the Game of Thrones-sized cast and Cherryhesque characters. As outsourcing covers is not on the horizon, I have to do these myself. You’ve seen the lesser efforts already. Making these into episodes is adding more work and probably making it hard on my editor.
And then there’s the proofreads. An editor, even one as awesome as Stacy, does not guarantee you aren’t going to have typos in your last draft. Stacy did a developmental edit on The First One’s Free, which means there was a LOT of red ink involved. All those corrections you make after your editor sends back notes? Opportunity for making more mistakes. So this past week, I proofed the story one last time and uploaded a fresh source document to Amazon.
Serialization works best with longer works and when it’s planned during the beats and outlining phase. As I said, maybe in 2017, I’ll serialize the follow-up to the main novel. For now, why should I make more work for myself just to confuse the readers?