Would You Read a Serialized Book?

So here’s the story. I’ve been toying with the idea of epublishing, trying to decide how best to approach it. I’ve written eleven books, and while some of them are tied up in the traditional publication process, others are just sitting in my Dropbox folder, gathering virtual dust. Not all of them are ready for primetime, but one stands out to me as a prime candidate for epublication: ICHABOD. It’s an adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and it tries to answer the question, “What do characters in books do when you’re not reading them?” Think of it as Toy Story, but for novels. Inside a copy of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, one of the characters is killing off the others one by one, and it’s up to Ichabod Crane to solve the mystery and save the day.

I love this book. My agents? Not so much, and I can’t blame them. Trying to capture the book and present it in a way that editors will immediately understand and see a market for is probably a bridge too far. But just because it’s hard to package doesn’t mean the book’s not without merit, and so I’d like to let it see the light of day in one form or another.

But how to do it the right way?

I’m reluctant to just go the straight epublishing route. I put it up one day, promote it for a while, and then that’s that. This is a book I love dearly. The concept is very unique, the worldbuilding was a blast . . . I don’t want to blow it. To really do it right, I’d love to get it professionally edited, have a pro do the cover, and ideally get some physical copies printed. But as soon as I start talking about those sorts of things, I start talking about money, and that just leads back to “How would I earn it back?” I love the book, but would other people?

But what if I took a different approach? What if I involved all of you lovely people in the writing process? I’ve also long considered exploring the idea of a serialized book–something released on my blog a chapter a week, for free. If I were to do this for ICHABOD, I’d like to solicit feedback on each chapter–encourage people to read it and give me critiques as we go. Then, once the whole thing was done, I could potentially revise the book and release the revision as an ebook, maybe even Kickstarting a modest amount of money to get it done right.

This is something I almost definitely am going to do, but I want to do it right. The book’s 25 chapters long. At a chapter a week, it will be a half year’s worth of blog posts. That’s a significant investment on the blog, and I’d rather not throw it up there to just have it turn into the post everyone ignores each week. There are some things I can hopefully do to combat that (release a current pdf of the book up to its latest chapter each week, ask other authors to do some posts on similar topics or let me do some guest posts on their blogs, etc.), but I wondered what you all thought of it.

So, hive mind: does this sound like something that would be interesting? Any suggestions before I embark on the process? Not sure when this would start–it’s still in the planning phase at the moment. So now’s the time to help me out with the concept.


7 thoughts on “Would You Read a Serialized Book?”

  1. My information is that if you self-pub one book in a genre and don’t follow it with anything like it, you’re not likely to sell many copies.

  2. Well, it all depends on how you define “genre.” Ichabod is fantasy, and arguably YA–though that’s a stretch. But as you know, it’s a pretty strange beast. I’d still rather try to do something with it than just have it hang out on my hard drive.

  3. I think it sounds very interesting. I love the idea. There have been some books I have read where I would have liked to make comments to the author.

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