A new introduction from Amazon is an old form of reading a story: The Serial.
These were a hit back in the day when people got to read an episode each week in the newspaper. Just as the Kindle has revived reading, it has revived the practice. When you buy a Kindle Serial, you will receive all existing episodes on your Kindle immediately, followed by future episodes as they are published. You can enjoy reading as the author creates the story.
Westerns are classic for the serial genre, so I started with The Circuit Rider by Dani Amore (a pen name, I assume.) On the ordering page, it states that the serial contains six episodes and one will be delivered each month. That is nice to know that information up front.
The first installment was about 500 locations which I read in two sittings. A month feels like a long time to wait in between episodes, which appears to be a typical for the serials Amazon is now offering.
The Circuit Rider was divided into very short chapters. It ended with enough of a satisfying ending to wrap up that episode, but created suspense for the next installment. This serialized Western, however, was not particularly well written and was very violent, so I’m not exactly holding my breath waiting for the next month to pass.
I also downloaded The Many Lives of Lilith Lane which has new episode every two weeks. Two episodes had been released when I bought it and it came as one file.
The Many Lives of Lilith Lane was a fresh, fun story with lots of plot twists that made this very entertaining for the episodic format.
Both of these were priced at just $1.99 each. You pay that price to receive the first download and subsequent installments are delivered at no additional cost. Amazon states that “New episodes will be added to the same book on your Kindle, keeping your place and retaining your notes and highlights.”
Amazon also has opened customer discussion forums for each serial where you can join other readers in a virtual review of the plot and characters. You will find the link on the serial’s webpage.
The serial is a neat way to capitalize on the technology of the Kindle by automatically sending new episodes to readers’ devices. In a way, though, it feels out of place. When there are so many great books out there for instant download, why wait six months to read a story in fits and starts? I’m also curious to find out how Amazon will notify me that a new episode has been downloaded.
Has anyone else read the serials? What’s your take?
Cheap Reads – More serials – mysteries, thrillers, and more – selling for $1.99 each
And if you would like to relive a book that was originally a serial, these two Charles Dickens’ novels are free in serial form.