We live in a world where waiting has become a thing of the past. Bingeing movies, TV shows, books, and even comics are included. A little off topic, even credit cards make things happen instantly. Don't have cash? Just charge it and enjoy. Have you considered podcasts or radio as serials, perhaps? The digital age has transformed us into a right now society. Which, come on, isn't always a bad thing.
Patience? What's that?
Book serials, on the other hand, have an overarching story line. The characters age and change: like in The Vampire Diaries. Often, they come in episodes or parts shorter than a novel: 80-100 pages long installments. Episodes (whether novel-sized or chapter sized) are separately published in eBook format and get their own cover. Once a story arc has been finished, the author groups the parts together and publishes it as a novel (often called a ‘season’). The book receives a title, a new ISBN, and usually also appears in print form.
Did you know that book serials go back to the 1800s: The Victorian Era?
According to Publishdrive by Monica Dube: During the 19th century, cheap printing and distribution made magazines the most popular format for wide distribution of literature.
At the time, it was highly popular to pick up newspapers and magazines, which were affordable for people who wouldn’t be able to pay for a complete book. Last but not least, monthly or periodical magazines provided steady income for authors. Most famous example of serialized fiction from this age is Charles Dickens.
During the Victorian era, serials were popular all over Europe, but also in the United States. According to the Scribner’s Monthly, only the best writers were able to secure a spot in a magazine; second and third rate writers had to resort to publishing a novel.