Will Kindle Serials Transform Anthology Publishing?

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Recently, Amazon introduced Kindle Serials, its latest program for original content. http://amzn.to/Q8rGzY

By year end, Amazon Publishing will publish the first 15 or so titles in the program.  Price points are typically $1.99.  As Kindle explains the program on its home page.

Kindle Serials are stories published in episodes. When you buy a Kindle Serial, you will receive all existing episodes on your Kindle immediately, followed by future episodes as they are published. Enjoy reading as the author creates the story, and discuss episodes with other readers in the Kindle forums.

Once the title has released all its episodes as a Kindle Serial, the eBook is available in full (so far at $3.99) and in most cases, a print edition is also published.  The program is so new only two titles have made it that far: http://amzn.to/106NwGR

Like the early days of the Kindle Singles program, the Serials program is getting significant merchandising support.  Also like the Singles program, the Serial program is on the top banner throughout the Kindle Store.  If you monitor Kindle’s merchandising efforts, you will see a broad range of activity to support the program.

At heart the program is for novelists who can benefit from the promotion which would advance their careers.

But there are other implications as well, some of them tantalizing.  With the cooperation of the Kurt Vonnegut estate, Amazon Publishing is releasing a collection of previously unpublished works by Vonnegut: six unpublished short stories (plus an additional unfinished science-fiction story) and one unpublished non-fiction essay, releasing today as a Kindle Serial for $2.99 under the title Sucker’s Portfolio. http://amzn.to/XxMntq

There have previously been seven traditionally published Vonnegut anthologies, several of them posthumously published.  The traditional anthology, particularly after the death of the author, is difficult to promote and not a particularly commercial format.

With these unpublished Vonnegut pieces, we will get a test of the impact of attractive pricing and promotion for anthological work. My prediction is that it will work very well indeed at many different levels for the benefit of author’s works in all formats, print and eBook.

Many prominent authors, living or dead, have unpublished short works “in the trunk.”  Kindle Serials may turn out to be a unique option to unlock the truck, share the work with fans and create value where no value could be realized any other way.

 

Arthur Klebanoff

About Arthur Klebanoff

Arthur Klebanoff is the founder and CEO of RosettaBooks, a leading independent eBook publisher. RosettaBooks offers 500 eBooks worldwide including such classic titles as Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey as well as the major works of Kurt Vonnegut, Winston Churchill and Arthur C. Clarke.

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2 thoughts on “Will Kindle Serials Transform Anthology Publishing?

  1. Interesting. A long time ago I started publishing my short story poetry book as a Subscription Book on Smashwords. This Kindle Serials program is exactly what I need to make the Subscrption Book easier, but I see they only take submissions. I fear I might not be accepted! I really do think Kindle Serials can help the anthology genre. I hope they make the serial program available on KDP. I really enjoyed this article and now I am interested in Sucker’s Portfolio.

    • The Serials program like the Kindle Singles program is curated and will likely accept relatively few submissions. I agree that it would be attractive to have KDP (and PubIt) offer a serials delivery option as part of their service but I have no idea if or when that might become a reality.

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