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The main reason I decided to serialize the first book

posted Apr 13, 2015, 4:55 AM by TheNewAeon2012   [ updated Apr 20, 2015, 2:29 AM ]
Most readers/authors would assume a first-time indie serializes a novel only for the promotional gains. i.e.: the compounding buzz and word of mouth that each new instalment generates. But here's another, little known, reason why many a first-time author may decide to serialize: it breaks the process down into manageable chunks and the positive feedback (if any) from the first instalment gives you renewed drive to finish the book! 

This is the main reason I did it anyway. Or, at the very least, the secondary reason, if we exclude the promotional and discoverability reasons. And it's working, because, even while not a written review (at least not yet), my first ever review of Part I: A New Dawn was a FIVE star one (on my goodreads page)! The other 3 parts of the book are at varying levels of completion, Part IV needing the most work at the moment, but the story is pretty much mapped out to the tiniest detail. In fact, as I say here, the saga was always a six part from day one, until the start of this year that is: I decided to "do a Lucas", as I like to call it, and, around mid Jan, 2015, I split the 9.5 years in the making manuscript into 3 separate books. So I magickally came up with two extra novels lol and it is an eight-part saga now, until further notice (see: Robert Jordan). What I had in Jan was nearing 180 K words length and didn't look like there was an end in sight, so I thought "OK, I'm splitting this into its 3 acts and turning each one into a book". I was left with about 77 K to use for Book I and the other 100 K was split between Books 2 and 3, though not evenly. 

And I think that deciding to further split Book I into four parts now, makes it even more manageable. At the time of this writing, Part II: The Ennead is pretty much written, but needs a few editing passes. Part III: Seal of Aion has about 19-20 K words of material but a lot of it is highlighted in red and needs fixing up. Part IV: War in Heaven is in bullet-point outline right now. So the plan for the next couple months is to go thru Part 2 asap, then simultaneously finish up on the other two parts. I will then have to find a 'second pair of eyes' for it all, just to make sure it all flows well and the grammar is OK and then I'm done! I have mapped out the entire eight-part saga, I have 3-4 page synopses for every single sequel, so I know where/how it all ends and everything in between. And I've made doubly sure the beginning of Book I fits in not only with the rest of Book I, but the entire saga as well. So I am pretty confident about putting Part I out there at this early stage, without worrying that I'll have to be forced to go back and change it in any significant way. 

This was not written as an excuse to promote the upcoming instalments, but to show that serializing Lifting the Curse has helped me finish it quicker than I would have, had I not done it this way. In a sense, it's like setting a publishing deadline for yourself that, come rain or shine, you must meet. Even though, technically, no one is putting a gun to my head to put them out asap, if I don't push myself, it will never get done. So, for any aspiring authors out there reading this, I highly recommend serializing, if only just to motivate yourself to finish it faster (or to finish it AT all!). Plus there's the well known, added benefit of being able to get feedback from fans while the book is in the process of being created.

So far, from Part I, the very little feedback I've gotten was encouraging. There was constructive criticism as well, which is something I actually LOVE to get in all areas of life. So I will take both the praise and the criticism into account and implement it in the next releases. Honestly, I think that, if you have a story well mapped out, you've let it "rest" several times and looked it over again and again, and are happy with it, then serializing is a great way to go for fiction. While you're working on the final act, acts one and two are already out in the world, slowly getting you fans and making you a name. That's basically the idea. But, like I said, overall it's mostly the fact that it helps give you that final push you need to finish it!