My husband follows music closely, including trends in how people buy and listen to music and find new artists. Recently, he told me that one of the websites where he finds music, NoiseTrade, launched a similar platform for books. Around the same time, he sent me an interesting Mashable article about the growing trend of publishing books in sections online.
Serialization is not a new concept, of course. Tons of literary giants published their novels in serial form in the 1800s, and I’m really interested to see if this will become a legitimate publishing route again. At the moment it seems like something that non-fiction authors and certain types of fiction writers (YA, romance, paranormal etc) do, but I would love to see really big name literary people try it.
There is something appealing to me about reading a book as it’s written. I think it would take an entirely different skill set for authors though. Today’s authors are used to endless rounds of revisions and replotting and tightening things up. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see modern novels written in the older, serial form, with a bit more rambling, more seat-of-the-pants changes, and more colorful characters?
I could actually really see that working, even for more literary fiction. As the Mashable article points out, people like to buy things in snippets, and people consume media in smaller doses at a time. I like how serializing would make the writing process more social, with real-time feedback informing the writing process.
What do you think? Would you read fiction in serial form? Does this trend seem like a good idea to you? Why or why not?