Online Serialisation – Will It Work?

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, co-authors of the Liaden books, are going to serialise a new book online.  Based on the concept of a virtual “storyteller’s bowl”, they’ll put up a chapter for every $300 in donations they receive (one chapter per week).

I like their Liaden books (space opera – think Heyer in a futuristic world).  They’re very much feel-good books, where good always triumphs over evil.  And there’s great world-building with characters you grow to love – what more could you ask for?  So yes, I was intrigued and planned to keep an eye out for their first chapter.

I’ve just had their latest newsletter and by now, they’ve received enough money for the first 13 chapters.  So that’s a rather impressive $4000 in a month.  Yes, they’ve built up a loyal online following, so that helps.  And they’ve set the new story in their Liaden universe, which is probably their most popular one.

I’ve no idea how this compares to royalties they would receive via normal publishing routes, but it’s a pretty good incentive to write a draft manuscript that they can then polish up and sell.

Will the influx of donations continue?  It probably depends on if “Fledgling” is as good as other books set in the Liaden universe.  Their first chapter goes online 22 January – I’m going to check it out and see if it’s worth a donation!

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