Charles Dickens would surely approve: almost 200 years after he first published The Pickwick Papers, the serialised novel is back in fashion thanks to Amazon and a new publishing startup called Plympton.
The Kindle Serials programme, announced by Amazon at its press event last Thursday, will allow authors to publish books one instalment at a time.
Of the eight launch titles two are classic Dickens books, while three come from Plympton, a new company from authors Jennifer 8 Lee (The Fortune Cookie Chronicles) and Yael Goldstein Love (The Passion of Tasha Darsky) devoted to “reinventing the way people experience literature by combining serialized fiction and digital platforms”.
Plympton says that instalments of its titles range between 7,000-25,000 words, with new chapters released bi-weekly or monthly.
“Sales on iTunes and the app stores indicate that the natural price point for digital content ranges from $.99 to $2.99, and that the way to build sustained revenue is to have an audience come back again and again,” the company explains. “Serial fiction seems to offer the best opportunity to make digital fiction financially viable.”