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Weekly Update ending 2/13- In which SgL Editorializes.

Sean Platt and David Wright experiment with free serials online

After their successful stint in the Kindle Serials program, it appears the big news that has surfaced is that they’re experimenting with free online serialization.  It sounds like a variation of the free to read (for a while) model in which they eventually take down their copy (and ask you to pay for it if you miss it).

This is a variation of a model we currently already see in serial fic whereby the complete and final novel is already available at launch for purchase while the free part serializes slowly.

It is also a variation of the webcomic model whereby if someone loves your free read enough (or you) that they will donate/buy the compiled work later.

As such this is a very interesting experiment, indeed, because they are serial celebrities (but with no connection to the rest of the community.)

Still, I hope that they can make some profit off this, if only because if they’re able to wean readers off the idea of needing an Amazon to deliver text to them. One could hope that with this experiment they’re creating new serial readers who will accept fiction delivered a blog.

That said, someone needs to tell them about how webcomics monetize and get them to do sponsored ads. The risk of free online serializing can be mitigated by ad revenue.   (More unsolicited free advice from me!)

Startup Plympton acquires DailyLit to deliver serial fiction in a digital age

So Plympton has been quiet on my twitter as of late. After a fantastic Kickstarter success and capitalizing on Kindle Serial’s launch to get their name out there, they’ve gone quiet.  Thankfully PaidContent came through today and shared Plympton’s latest step. It would seem that the start-up is really trying to make a go of it as a content producer with their own platform by acquiring DailyLit
I don’t know a lot about DailyLit other than what’s in that article. The userbase numbers sound pretty good.   It sounds like they deliver both free and paid content.Ah ha.  And Plympton or DailyLit claim that DailyLit is the “oldest and largest distributor of digital fiction” in their press release.  DailyLit was founded in 2006. So was Wattpad.  But the oldest? Uh. The internet grandma in me says NO,THAT WAS USENET. 
Aside from that, DailyLit isn’t an entity that I know. Their Twitter presence is modest (4000 they follow, 4000 that follow them). Digging into DailyLit shows they deliver via email inboxes (see FAQ).
And this is where I don’t quite get this strategic move to acquire DailyLit. Email is declining in popularity. It skews heavily towards certain demographics. And knowing people like me, email is quite frequently ignored.  
Still perhaps this acquisition is about Plympton looking for a way to get to readers. Their initial press release talks about new content. And that might be okay, but based on DailyLit’s current setup, I’m not sure how this is going to work out for them long-term. I think Plympton needs to go the way of the app like everyone else. 

Interview with Jukepop Serials Founder

It’s not my style to post blogs from people who use it to promote their own serial. That said, when they add information that is currently hard to track down in the wild, I will consider putting up the link.  In this case, a Jukepop writer interviewed the JPSerials founder and did a very good job of drawing out information that isn’t currently in the website copy.

JP’s founder claims their site receives 10k visits a month. This sounds plausible, particularly if it’s both readers and voters that are returning.

That said is article copy title really right? Are serials on the rise like a phoenix from the ashes?

The juxtaposition of these three links this week paint an amusing picture of serial fiction that apparently has existed forever at the same time being brand new and experimental.

This isn’t innovation. It’s just better marketing by people with more capital.


 

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Micropublishing, Reddit, and other Weekly Discoveries: Jan 4-10, 2013

Seven publishing trends that will define 2013

I’ve seen “micropublishing” come up a few times this past week. Guess someone got bored and wanted to coin a new term to represent content publication that goes straight from app to web/desktop to web minus the bells and whistles of budgets, staff, etc. Or something.  All I know is that writing falls into this loosely – particularly those folks writing novels on their phones, tablets, through apps, whatever.

We’ll see if the term sticks, but for now, guess I gotta track this term too.

Read the article though – serials shows up yet again! It’s the hot new trend for 2013!

9 Publishing Predictions for 2013

And in case you need TWO more predictions, Coliloquy’s blog tells you yet more about micropublishing.

Hey, We colonize Reddit in the name of webfiction. 

The small crowd at Goodreads decided to try to colonize Reddit too at /r/webfiction .  At the very least we decided to give the poor orphans of /r/writing/ a break from the random chatter by random authors about cell phone novels, digital novels, weblit, serials and everything else by the same name.

Sean Platt and David Wright’s Serial Box a Smash Hit with Five Star Average

Platt and Wright continue to draw attention for their serials.  They were doing the serial thing long before Kindle jumped in with their Serials program and their experience seems to be paying off.

Weekly Roundup: December 28 — January 3

Happy New Year Everyone! It seems the buzz about serials that started during the 2012 holiday season has some real momentum.   Looks like there’s a lot to think about this week.

Moving forward, I think it’d be cool to highlight finished serials (available freely online) and their authors. If you have finished a serial recently, please send me a link, a blurb /summary of the story, and let’s chat! 

Users add chapters to new kind of tale

Users not only read the story in installments, but engage online/using their mobile phones. This is a really neat idea –like geocaching meeting the world of fiction. 

PW Select December 2012: Wattpad Revolutionizes Online Storytelling

Backtracked through Publisher’s Weekly to find a December article on Publisher’s Weekly that details Wattpad further. It’s written in a way that highlights Wattpad’s strength in its early strategy of engaging readers — tapping into the fanfiction.net market and appealing to readers of romance.

Colilquoy

Accidentally discovered this community as they appear to be the only webfic/serial fic entity followed by Huffington Post Reading Twitter at the current time. Based on viewable content, most of the stories appear to be targeted to women and the site employs a pay-per-episode model.

Seth Godin on Kickstarting and Publishing

The Passive Voice links to the Godin blog on his Kickstarter adventures.  Seth sounds frustrated with Kickstarter and seems to discourage people from using it.  And yet webfic/web serial authors know full well people can engage on a successful campaign. In fact, as an indie, one would argue that a person with the right work and existing audience could do quite well.   

Publishing Is Broken, We’re Drowning In Indie Books – And That’s A Good Thing

In this Forbes article, the author talks about the successes of indie books and the failures of the current traditional publishing system to make a good case against indie books. Comments are entertaining as usual.  


A brave new world: science fiction predictions for 2013

This article is upbeat. One gets the impression that the sci-fi writers of the world are ready to get their chance in the spotlight, beating back other genres. This article mentions that Tor is about to get into the Kindle serials business.  And it’s an attractive idea.  Sci-fi/speculative short stories have long been a mainstay for fans of scifi and fantasy and Platt/Wright are doing well right now in the program. Why not?

Weekly Discoveries 12/21-12/27

Hope you all had a better Christmas than I did.  Or maybe some of you are still experiencing it right now as we speak. (You lucky ducks!)

So in spite of the slow things in the world of online novels, it seems that the serial itself is “THE” thing to talk about this holiday season.  Sure Time briefly talked about serials when Amazon entered the fray, but I think it’s something else when WSJ and NPR start talking about serials too.

How to Milk Your Serial

Caught this in the paper edition of the Wall Street Journal. Fascinating what Neal Pollack relates about “Bonfire of the Vanities” and the difficulty of generating output at newspaper/magazine serial word quotas.   As noted -it’s a different beast than writing novels!

Margaret Atwood’s Brave New World Of Online Publishing

I love NPR and am gratified that such an organization can talk about serials with one of the best spokeswomen you can think of for the format.   In this piece, Atwood talks about her work, Positron, for Byliner. (I’ve made mention of her Wattpad forays in the past, so it’s nice to see Byliner also get work from her that I think as classic Atwood.)  Transcript and full audio available at 

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/27/167637658/margaret-atwoods-brave-new-world-of-online-publishing

Serial Scribes Daily “Paper”

This paper.li webpage is curated by Tonya Moore, a long-time member of the webfiction community.  It occurred to me that I might not have mentioned this publication before and that it’s an easy way to see what several people are doing in the webfic community.

JukePop Serials makes Open Call for Submissions

Looks like JP is looking for new authors and new serial stories, see their post at Tuesdayserial.com .

Weekly Discoveries, 12/14 – 12/20


The next Stephenie Meyer? Teenage girl scoops book deal after her romance stories are read by millions online

I think this story is a testimony to the machine that is Wattpad .It also is important to understand that this story was posted years ago and took time to become noticed. 

The Twitter Novel — 140 Characters at a Time

Twitter seems to keep watching the Amazon serial bus and wanting to milk it also for what it’s worth. The story keeps going. That said, writing a novel 140 characters at time might drive me nuts.

 WPI’s Project Boz Is Making Charles Dickens’s Novels Available Online in Original Serialized Form

All this Charles Dickens stuff and finally we can see what readers saw years ago. Very interested in this … 


Book Marketing: Is a Facebook Fan Page Useful?

Honestly, the way Facebook is going these days with requiring businesses or other non-personal pages to pay up for visibility… I’d say probably not.  It doesn’t hurt to have a page though to feed updates through, but there’s no guarantee that the updates are seen with the new “pay” model FB put in place.