Much like the Kindle Singles category that was launched to modest success last year, Amazon is launching Kindle Serials to breathe new life and commercial appeal into ongoing, episodic content. According to PaidContent, Amazon is investing some pretty decent money behind the effort.
The serial novel model has been gaining traction in e-pub circles for a while now. Clearly, authors with a backlog of novel to bring across into the digital world do very much have an edge over a first time novelist with just a single book to sell on Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc.
In cases where a previously published author posts their out-of-print titles, time and time again, we’ve seen that customers will simply buy the author’s entire catalog. Sometimes, they’ll buy multiple books from an author before they could have possibly read the first one.
To me at least, this is more evidence that ebook fans download more books in general — 9 more per year, in fact — though they don’t necessarily read more books.
As an author or publisher, it’s very tempting to try to take advantage of this phenomenon by writing serial content… or possibly breaking one, larger e-book down into a series.
This is exactly why Jeff Bezos and company are promoting Kindle Serials so hard. And serial content is a proven strategy in the Kindle environment.
But imposing a serial strategy on a book that was written to stand alone can be tricky. In fact, without some serious rethinking and possibly re-writing, it can be downright unproductive.
Creating good serial content from scratch isn’t easy… Serialized content works best when it’s gripping and hooky like a soap opera.
If you can do that with your content, you can make a LOT more money per word, and Amazon is even going to help you. If not, you could be wasting your time when you could be creating/finding content that works in a serial format.