Monday, September 18, 2023

Do You Enjoy Serialized Fiction?

 Fiction subscriptions might be one way to go if you are an author. 

Photo by Road Trip with Raj on Unsplash

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

Active Hooks

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.

Word Choices

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. 

Building Community

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)

Subscription For Authors Facebook Group. 

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. 

Subscription Fiction

Most of you are probably familiar with subscription platform such as Patreon or Royal Road or Wattpad. These are places serial readers can go to, read freely, and enjoy the story. 

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. 

Lessons Learned

  • 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. 
The reason subscriptions work to build your audience so well is because it gives the audience a stake in your success. And by giving your fans a stake in your success, their support dramatically increases. 

In 2022 alone, there were four million books published

Subscriptions give Indie Authors a path to do what all writers want to do: get your work in front of active readers. 

! Juneta’s Fiction Subscription: Be part of the community! Get Early ACCESS to Midlife Ghostwalker: Katje Storm draft, book one, in a planned six-book series. Come join the fun, read, and interact. Juneta loves writing speculative fiction which includes Midlife Paranormal Women’s Fiction, Paranormal Cozy Mystery, Space Opera, Mythic Humor, and Fantasy Adventure.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Never considered the community aspect.
I think subscription stayed with us in a different form - comic books. And it's still going strong.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've never read subscription fiction. But I can see how it could make you a better writer, and it is popular with readers.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Wonderful post, Juneta! I'll have to bookmark this...too much good information to absorb in one reading.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Learning to write tighter is a great skill.

PT Dilloway said...

I tried publishing with Kindle Vella a couple of times but there wasn't much interest in it from readers so I wound up pulling the stories and republishing them as regular ebooks. From what I remember reading somewhere, serial reading is big in Asian countries where people might read an installment or two on the train to and from work. It's not something I have a lot of interest in reading or writing.

Juneta key said...

@P T Dilloway Kindle Vella is not a subscription platform where you own the information. Its not transparent and the customers belong to Amazon and they don't share.

ON a subscription platform you own your emails which means the community belongs to you not Amazon there are no Gatekeepers! Which is why I am on REAM I own my emails I can add them to my newsletter

No GateKeeper, I own the emails of my subscriber no one keeping them from for their own use these are my customer not Amazons.

I believe Patreon and similar also give access to the emails, but since I don't use those I cannot say for sure.

Anyway these are my readers, they go where I go. I own the emails same as I do when I use a newsletter provider like Mailerlite, MailChimp and so forth.

PT Dilloway said...

I don't really know what you mean about emails concerning Kindle Vella.

I really didn't like that to load a file they want access to my Google Drive or that it only takes Google Docs, which I only use for rough drafts, or that I need a Stripe account to launch my account. I don't do serialized stories much anyway so it doesn't really seem like it's for me.

cleemckenzie said...

I haven’t jumped into this. Glad you’re having success with it. Thanks for sharing the up side to serialized fiction.