How to serialise your work online

How to serialise your work online

kindle reader foreign language unsplash serialisationAll about serialising your work

Sydney School of Arts & Humanities (SSOA) is keen to encourage writers to serialise on our website. Just contact us with a proposal and we can have a chat.

Publishing novels (or other works) in instalments is not a new idea – serialisation is how Charles Dickens and many other authors did it – but the web gives us many new ways to do it. And if you’re good at it, you can even earn money from doing so. Let’s look at 3 myths about serialising online, 3 big advantages to doing so, and some sites you could try using, including our own, SSOA.

3 myths of serialisation

“I’ll lose my copyright”

No, you won’t. There’s not a single major platform out there that assumes copyright of authors’ works. No one would use it if they did! They all clearly state under Terms of Service that the copyright remains with the author. That’s certainly the case with SSOA.

“Someone will steal my work”

Someone can steal your work even if it has been traditionally published by a Big Publisher, and they will. There are pirated eBooks all over the internet, just like songs, movies and games. That doesn’t mean the pirates can monetise it, or even necessarily get away with it. Digital technology makes it very easy to prove who wrote it first, and most online platforms will eventually – and sometimes rapidly – ban thieves.

“I won’t be able to publish it as a book”

Yes, you will. Depending on what serialisation site and what options you choose, you may have to delay publication. You may even still manage to have it traditionally published if it proves popular enough.

3  Benefits of serialisation

Feedback

You actually put your work out there and get feedback, even if it’s not complete. Seeing what people respond to in your writing helps you hone future chapters, or rethink your ending or character outcomes. Sometimes readers unexpectedly fall in love with quite a minor character, or dislike an aspect of one of your protagonists. If your hero has been called an “asshole” by half a dozen online commenters, he may need a bit of personality surgery.

Here at SSOA, we run weekly meet up workshops and the same kind of feedback assistance works in the workshops held in our office in The Rocks. Check out our Tuesday morning, Tuesday evening and Friday afternoon schedule. They’re very helpful – especially if you’re publishing with us or publishing weekly.

Promotion

Through serialisation your work potentially gets in front of millions of eyes, even including those of agents and publishers. Most serialisation sites offer a lot of marketing tips and tools. Yes, you’ll still have to market it – the readers won’t just “be there” – and connect well with major social media sites to encourage sharing.

Motivation

Slowly but surely you’ll start building a readership. People who have liked your work will follow you and beg you to “update”. Knowing that you have people already engaged with your writing and wanting more can be a powerful motivator. For example, it may help you get into the routine of writing at least a chapter per week.

 

Some other suggested serialisation sites

Wattpad

Wattpad is one of the biggest out there – 35m unique visitors/month. It’s so huge that any genre can find an audience. The biggest audience is US teenage girls who tend to like YA (Young Adult) fiction and Romance, so if you write in those genres it could be a good fit.

No payment offered but successful authors might be invited to the new Wattpad Futures programme that will place ads in stories and share revenue.

Radish

Radish is currently invite-only: you can apply, but they like authors to already have some kind of following on social media and to have gained some readers/fans.

No payment offered but depending on the model chosen (free, freemium, premium) you can generate revenue based on the amount of readers.

Channillo

Channillo lets readers subscribe to read works. Authors can schedule when they want new chapters to be released.

Payment: Authors get 80% of the total subscription revenue, so having a strong fan base is important.

Inkitt

Inkitt’s trick is to try to use algorithms to help authors reach their target readers. It holds regular contests, and authors have won tradititional publishing deals as a result.

No payment offered.

One last thing… don’t forget that on many of these sites you can also be a reader. Subscribing to other authors’ works and commenting and sharing also helps you and your work get noticed.

As an author published by Sydney School of Arts & Humanities, we’re happy for you to promote your work wherever and whenever possible on internet sites. And we can assist you in guiding you to new sites.

And remember that you need to have your manuscript as polished as possible if it’s to make a splash in a market of millions of books on offer.

So by all means make use of our Editing Services by professional editors at very reasonable rates ($35 per hour – with a sample given before work  commences) and also give serious consideration to the advantages of being published by a reputable publisher such as Sydney School of Arts & Humanities, where your book is sure to attract more attention, among a small stable of specialist authors – rather than go it alone and self-publish.

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