Dear Writer-Friends,

I've been self-publishing since 2011, and I've shared the knowledge I've gained in two books: the Indie Author Survival Guide, Second Edition, and For Love or Money. I'm not an indie rockstar or a breakout success: I'm one of thousands of solidly midlist indie authors making a living with their works. These books are my way of helping my fellow authors discover the freedom of indie publishing. Write on, writer-friends!

S.K. Quinn, Independent Author of Science Fiction

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Random Things You Should Know If You're Writing A Serial

  • Use Smarturls - the ability to redirect your links at any time will save you from the crazies
  • Know your genre - are serials common in your genre? Six episodes released every two weeks is common in sexytimes romance. Another common pattern is three longer episodes every 2-4 weeks. SF doesn't have many serials - so all bets are off there. For Season One of Debt Collector, I released 9 episodes every two weeks. For Season Two, it's 9 eps once a week - why? Because I want to get to the end sooner! Mainly because SF readers wait for the box set. In romance, readers are more enthusiastic about reading ep-by-ep.
  • Set a schedule
  • Use-preorders 
  • Cliffhangers are okay - if you don't want to use them, good on you. But they're part of the form, so don't think you're cheating if you do. 
  • Covers still sell - Unique covers are cool, but using the same image with different titling can save on cost. I would pay for a professional cover either way.
  • Novels still sell better - for most genres. Romance seems to be the one exception to that rule.
  • Serials are difficult to advertise - Bookbub won't take them, and many other ad places have a minimum size (less so now, though).
  • Set your first episode free - one of the great advantages of a serial is having this 24/7 ad of your series on the free list.
  • Don't be afraid to release Ep1 and Ep2 at the same time - with the first one free! This can be a great way to get the serial started.


  1. Thanks for your tips. I'm excited to see how my romantic fantasy adventure serial works out. I learned everything I know about serials from you. :)

  2. Getting ready to release my first serial (or at least the first part of the serial) early next year. You are my guru, Susan!!! Thank you so much!

  3. I'm confused. Do you release nine episodes a week, or nine episodes, one every week? The first sounds impossible, but the description is confusing.


Erudite comments from thoughtful readers