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Free Serialized Novels are Really In

The Good Book says, "Be sure to cast your bread on the water, and it will return to you." The publishing industry seems to be hueingto this philosophy more every week.

When I implemented my idea of offering my novel, Horizons Past, for free in serialized form, I had no illusions of inventing the wheel. I knew a handful of authors had preceded me, but now I read several times a week of yet another novel going out in e-book serialized format for free.

M. J. Rose in an the article “Serial E-Authors Make a Killing” ( www.wired.com/print/lifestyle/news/2000/02.34499 ) told of authors Doug Clegg, Steven Lee Climer, and Charles Compo leveraging their published books by building readership with serialized novels. Apparently Internet marketers like Cybergold also have latched on to serialized novels as a way to draw customers to their site. They retained David Saperstein to serialize Dark Again on thier marketing site.

Booktrade.info reports that Headline Publishing’s Contact, the debut novel from British comics writer Simon Spurrier, will be published online for free starting on May 24th. The book will be released over a six-week period coinciding with the release of the print edition. Headline claims to be the first mainstream commercial publisher to make such a move.

For wannabee and lesser authors, the free serialized novel serves to generate visibility and name recognition, but apparently for established authors, giving your book away seems to generate big cash returns.

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