serial

Newspost: Serials 2.0 – Evolving business models

Figment gets bought out by a”Traditional publisher”

One of the things that is inherent to the internet is that nothing every stays static.

Crowdfunding was the big news for a while . Last week, C.A. Sanders broke the news about donation buttons on Jukepop.   I thought that would be fairly hard to trump as October’s story. However  this morning I opened up my email and found an email from Figment.com.  I’m not active on Figment simply because Wattpad sucked me in first for mirroring my story. However, it’s a very tight community/reading site targeting a mostly young female audience.  The startling surprise is that their notice that they had been acquired by Random House.

Not much appears on their site (except this blog post here)  but GigaOm has  offered details that were lacking on their email notice.   Figment absorbed Inkpop previously and has a few hundred thousand accounts in their portfolio. Likely this is the real reason RH wanted Figment.  I suspect Figment will become a testing ground for YA promotions as well as a possible source for new stories.

That said, most serial writers in the wild aren’t writing YA.

Nor do I think it’s easy to get those who read YA to go from enjoying free content and promotions to becoming true supporters/customers. Wattpad’s early showings for its pilot fanfunding projects has been really tepid when it comes to converting readers to pledgers.  I still think there’s something to be explored there had they had more older readers involved with the entire project.

Eat Your Serial is now Maglomaniac

Sometime in the last few months “Eat Your Serial” formally folded into Maglomaniac . Eat Your Serial, for those with short memories or new to the serial game, was one of several successfully funded Kickstarted “serial” projects. Maglomaniac’s latest efforts on Twitter and the web have focused on the new author promotion/fan interaction platform “Feed my reads” and blogs focusing on lifestyle and pop culture.   More insight into their new mission can be garnered from viewing their Indiegogo “pitch.”

Per their copy: “Maglomaniac is simply the best web magazine there is. With passionate, talented, and interesting staff and writers, we are confident that we’ve got what it takes to be the next big thing on the internet. Between our website’s magazine content with a variety of features, daily posts, and original novels that span wide interest areas we know that there’s something for you at Maglomaniac.com, but what we need is some help funding an expansion of our current operation. “

While Maglomaniac still mentions that it will host the Eat Your Serial books, I find it interesting that they now only solicit complete works.  Hm.  (That to me makes it less distinctive than the other options out there.) We’ll have to see what/how/how this evolution into a “content platform” works as what made their predecessor unique now makes them no different really other than this hybrid author-services platform.

Other news round-up

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Guest Post From C. A. Sanders: Jukepop Serials Adds Donation Option

On October 15th, JukePop Serials issued a press release announcing the addition of a donation option for their hosted serials. This means that now authors can solicit donations from their readers. Each serial will have a donation button, along with a personalized message from the author. The minimum donation in one dollar, and goes into an Amazon account for the author, minus a small hosting fee for JukePop.

JukePop Serials, which recently celebrated its one year anniversary, has taken a progressive stance regarding author compensation from the beginning. Unlike many sites, Jukepop pays its writers upon story acceptance, and offers additional monetary incentives for story popularity.

The donation option was actually added last week, but JukePop decided to refrain from announcing it until all the inevitable bugs were worked out of the system.

From the press release to authors, by JukePop Serials’ founder Jerry Fan:
We know how hard all of you work to write great stories for JukePop readers, so we are thrilled to announce the new Support Author donation button for JukePop authors. This new tool will let your fans make a donation to show how much they enjoy your work and also enable you to make money on the side to support your writing.

My Opinion: As many of you know, my serial, The Watchmage of Old New York is hosted by JukePop, and continues to be very popular (3rd place in popularity out of several hundred serials). Perhaps this makes me biased in favor of the option, but I have other reasons to support it.

I firmly believe that writers should be fairly compensated for their work. Writing is hard, writing is time consuming, and writers should not be forced to work for nothing. It is not a matter of money, it is a matter of respect. By compensating authors, you are saying “I respect the work that you do, and I think that it is worth something.”

I have been writing professionally for over a decade, and I have been published in many literary journals and web zines. For many years, the best that a writer could expect in compensation was “contributor copies,” three or four copies of the journal that accepted your work. If you were especially lucky, you might find a magazine that offered an honorarium of ten to twenty dollars. It was a system that was made for academics, professors and adjuncts that published in order to improve their resumes. It was nigh impossible for a full time writer to make a living in such a manner.

The internet and recent change in the industry allows writers to self publish online and reach an audience. The rise of the online novel and webserial created a paradigm change that freed writers from the bondage of “contributor copies,” though they still often work for no compensation. That JukePop is willing to host and to compensate is no small event. I am proud to be a part of this new revolution.

C. A. Sanders is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. His debut novel, Song of Simon, from Damnation Books, is available on Amazon or at DamnationBooks.com in both eformat and print. His popular and award-winning webserial, The Watchmage of Old New York, is available at JukePop Serials. His short fiction and non-fiction can be found across the internet and in print. A lifelong New Yorker, he currently lives in the suburbs of NYC.

Follow Sanders at his Facebook fan page, on Twitter, or at his website.

Blog Guest: Sean Munger, author of “The Armored Satchel”

Sean Munger is the last scheduled guest post from the Jukepop Serials crowd.

He is the author of  “The Armored Satchel, a spy adventure that takes place in occupied Europe during World War II (https://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/501).

Per Sean: “In this serial, Max Volcker, a young German who grew up in America, assumes the identity of a crack Nazi intelligence agent called “the Specter.” Using the Specter’s steel-reinforced briefcase packed with false identity papers and counterfeit cash, Max decides to become a double agent for the Allies—but finds the world of espionage is a lot more dangerous than he bargained for!”

Sean -please provide some background about yourself.

I am currently studying for a Ph.D. in American history. As part of my course of study, I also teach history classes at the university. This is definitely a full-time job, even during the summer—right now I’m preparing to teach a summer course on the history of the Iraq War. I do my writing in the evenings or on weekends or basically whenever there’s time.

Hobby-wise, I love to cook, especially spicy food—I can make several different Indian and Chinese dishes. I learned to cook mainly because restaurants could never make anything spicy enough for me, so I realized if I wanted food with a kick, I’d have to do it myself! I also read about and research, in a very unprofessional armchair-sleuth kind of way, missing persons cases, which have fascinated me for a long time. You’ll see I often post about missing persons on my blog (at seanmunger.com).

What are your current writing projects? Do you have another Jukepop serial in the works?

Right now I’m working on a new horror novel, titled Doppelgänger. It’s a creepy Victorian haunted house story, set in the 1880s, but it has a twist to it, and I hope it’s successful. I’m also putting the finishing touches on my second zombie novel, The Zombie Rebellion, which will be coming out from Samhain Publishing in May 2014. These have been my main projects recently. Strange as it sounds, The Armored Satchel started as a sideline.

I may do another serial. The character of Max has grown on me, and I think he’d be interesting to put into another adventure. I already have some vague thoughts on that but I’m not entirely decided on how to proceed yet.

Longer-term, I’ve got two projects in the pipeline that are likely to take a long time to get finished. The first is a book called The Valley of Forever, which I’ve been working on since 2010. It’s a science fiction book about the nature of time. The second is more speculative, but I’m hoping to do a re-boot of my science fiction series which began in 2006 with Life Without Giamotti. That’s a much longer-term project. (more…)

Tweetchat update + Other promotional opportunities

Please mark your calendars for

#serialchat

July 28, 4PM UTC
July 28, 12Noon EST

We were asked to try to include many of our international serial writing buddies, but could not quite make this marriage of the English speaking world (American and Queen’s) work all that well. Consider this specific Sunday chat a soft opening event.  A trial run of our twitter-fu.

It will run at least an hour (and I plan to stick around for another to blab at the PSTers).

And because we’ve found another person willing to coordinate, we will move from this chat into two chats on weeknights.  

Kira, editor at Epiguide, has volunteered to pull together one that targets the European Union evening time block on a weeknight.  (This also may be more optimal for North American folks active in afternoons). Please contact her at editor at epiguide dot com to let her know of your interest.

I’ll run a second weeknight chat in August as well for the US crowd. If I can time it right, this might overlap with the AU/NZ crowd.  I’ll start the polling for a “weeknight” time as well in a few weeks. Please contact me here or on twitter at @whirlyshirly so we can collaborate on finding a good day of the week to run wild and crazy on twitter.

We’ll make sure to report out the results here and in other serial/webfiction/weblit forums. (Just tell us who to contact!)

Just a quick note — my thanks to the four guineapigs from Jukepop serials who guest blogged these past two weeks. If you haven’t yet read these posts from Kevin, Nick, and Beth, please do. Then come back later tomorrow night for a post from Sean Munger – aka the secret history teacher of doom.   Then go bother these creators excessively :). I’m sure they will appreciate it!

Now on to the news and promotional opportunities:

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Blog Guest: Beth Raymond, author of “Secrets of the Conclave”

In this post, Online Novel continues highlighting authors who are part of the Jukepop Serials family.  

The third of the Jukepop authors to be featured is Beth Raymond, author of “Secrets of the Conclave” (http://www.jukepopserials.com/home/read/63), a story of political control and rebellion in a matriarchal society, with a little magic on the side.

bethraymondI’m not a professional writer. Well, I am, sort of—I’m a lawyer, and I write in that capacity. But the writing I do in my day job is far from creative. So, on the side, I write fiction. I realize it is rather cliché to be a lawyer and an author of fiction, but I had been writing fiction long before I ever became a lawyer. Indeed, I’ve written stories off-and-on throughout my life and I’ve taken courses in fiction writing both in college and as a pre-law school, working adult. Yet all of my previous work was in the short story format. I’d never tackled a novel, nor had I ever submitted anything for publication.

In 2005, I finally decided to try writing a novel as part of National Novel Writing Month. The product of this effort became the first draft of my serial, Secrets of the Conclave, now published at JukePop Serials. Admittedly, it wasn’t a very good draft—at times, it was downright cringe-worthy—but that’s not really the goal of NaNoWriMo, as participants like to call it. Instead, the goal is to write 50,000 words in a single month, and I succeeded in that. At the time, I had intended to edit that first draft, expand it, and try to publish it in some fashion—but then real life got in the way. And by real life, I mean law school, clerking, and my first job as a lawyer.

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