Fiction subscriptions might be one way to go if you are an author.
Writers like Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott understood the potential of subscription fiction. They used it to lure a wildly fanatic fanbase.
There are stories of fists fight breaking out when Charles Dickens' new stories came across the sea to America. Rabid readers could not wait to get their hands on it. It is not an exaggeration to say he built his fanbase one reader at a time through the subscription style stories.
Authors thought that the power of subscription fiction was lost in the days of yore, but the internet provided a low-cost option, and subscription authors are currently making a comeback. .
I am a voracious reader. And yes, I am addicted to series and serializations. I also binge watch Netflix, Hula, Disney, Paramount and so forth, lol. I love stories. I have learned to love story craft in an almost addictive way.
Anyone who knows me has probably heard this story: my mother taught me to read before I started kindergarten. I have no memories of not reading.
I was an only child, so stories were my playmates, my adventure, and a learning tool about the world, places, and, peoples.
The point — I love book series and I enjoy serialized fiction in all its many forms.
So what can writing serialized fiction do for you? The benefits are manifold.
Build Writing Skills
Learning to write in a serialized way helps teach you about using active hooks in your stories. Active hooks are like cat nip to kitties.
They tempt the reader to keep reading, while making them feel immersed in the action rather than just observing the character live out their story.
Serial scenes are often shorter than in a novel. It can help you learn to write shorter and tighter, to make careful and active word choices.
This helps you to convey your story's intention or actions with clarity and movement.
Hone the HOOK FACTOR. Learn to write active, engaging endings. Put your reader in the story with your character and keep them there.
Learn to engineer suspense, wonder, surprise, shock, and the cliffhanger that keeps them flipping pages.
I guess one of the biggest reasons I am drawn to subscription fiction is the community building.
Market trends are changing and community is a viable way to build your readership. I’ve been recently reading “Belonging To Brands: Why Community is the Last Great Marketing Strategy” by Mark Schaeffer.
He uses many of his own life examples of why the community is so powerful, and what it has meant for him on his journey.
As people, we want to belong, to matter, to feel part of something, and contribute. You learn leadership and support skills when you are part of a community, but especially when building one.
I signed up for Ream, a subscription platform, similar to Patreon, for authors created by authors for authors. (*Ream is an affiliate link)
Ream supports this idea of building and owning your own author community.
In building your fanbase and super fans the sense of belonging this creates for readers can be a powerful incentive for them, and skill building tool for the author.
It is Ream’s community, along with all they offer to support authors, that kept me coming back and eventually joining Ream. I have learned so much since starting my subscription.
These are also places you can hone your storytelling skills in practice with an audience.
Putting your writing out there can be scary.
This is one way to face that fear and practice. These sites have paying and non paying options for authors.
Subscription fiction platforms have been around for a while, but it has changed and grown in the last year. It is new opportunities and a new *yet an old* market for authors.
The reader's attention span has lessened, making short stories popular again. Serialized fiction is just another path that is opening up for many writers.
I was recently invited to take part in a Ream’s Top Author meeting. Yes, for the moment, wahoo, I am one of the top authors on Ream.
It's a new platform, just over a year old, but I believe it is here to stay. Starting my subscription and being part of the active community has brought a lot of joy, insight, and fun to my writing.
- Community Building.
- Hone writing skills: tighter, focused fiction writing.
- A sense of belonging — being part of a community, and taking part in something game changing for authors.
- Networking skills where I can support others and vice versa.
- All the interactions in the Ream community and the community I am building “make me feel” the way I did back when I discovered my first blogging group. I have made new friends. I am continually building working relationships — Is it work? Eh, a little, but so is blogging consistently and interacting with bloggers and commenters.
In 2022 alone, there were four million books published.