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Kindle Serials : the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly or What does it mean to serial fiction authors & readers? (part three - The Ugly)

Last week, my friends at Tuesday Serial asked if I would write my reaction to the recent Kindle Serials announcement. Of course, I had so much to say, we split it up into 3 posts.  The Good - the upside to Kindle Serials

The Bad - the downside to Kindle Serials


The Ugly of Kindle Serials

As a community, we deserve to emit of a unified, frustrating GAAH!!

Feel any better? I hope so! On to the ugly truths.

Ugly truth #1:

In his presentation of Kindle Serials, Mr. Bezos acted as if he was personally resurrecting a genre that hadn't been popular since Charles Dickens died in 1870.

As Anna Baddeley explains in The Guardian UK said:

"Serialised fiction has fallen out of fashion since its 19th-century heyday, but that could be about to change with Amazon's Kindle serials range, just launched in America." (The link. I encourage you to go over there and give them hell. I did.)


How is it that Amazon could miss and an entire genre it makes money from day in and day out? Even a cursory Google search will bring up Superman (a serial fiction since 1938). Everyone has heard of Sex in the City (originally published as a serial fiction by the New York Observer). I can get that Ms. Baddeley might not know of Tales of the City or the Diary of V (published in Redbook every month for 9 years) or even that Frank Herbert serialized the best selling Science Fiction book of all time.

But Amazon sells a lot of these books! How could they not know?

Ugly Truth #2:

It's my contention that Amazon knows full well about the rising movement of serial fiction on the Internet. They know and make good money off of our efforts as well as the efforts of the greats.

Further, they believe in serialized fiction enough, to use the movement we've fought to create to boost their own sales.

Ugly Truth #3:

Kindle Serials has the power and potential to run all of us out of business if we let them.

There. I said it.

It's up to us to make sure that doesn't happen. We need to get great at our search engine optimization so that when readers are searching serial fiction, they find us too. We need to write razor sharp fiction that lures people away from Amazon. We need to be competitively priced so that people get more for their money from our work than theirs.

But more than anything, we can't give up.

The Amazon Serial wave can overwhelm us if we let it.

Don't let it.

We have more power as a community than they do as a company. We need to get out there and promote our genre. Get on Twitter's #litchat and other writer chats. Get busy at GoodReads and LibraryThing. Set up a Google Alert for "serial fiction" so you can comment on posts about serial fiction. Mentor new serial fiction authors. Participate here at Tuesday Serial.

You keep writing. I will too.

We can ride this out together.

What do you see as the Ugly of Amazon Serials? What will you do to make sure our community continues to grow?