An interesting thing has happened since the recent announcement of Kindle Serials: it has brought serial fiction into the spotlight once again (although for some of us it never left the spotlight). Additionally, many publishers – besides Amazon – have come forward eager to talk about what they are doing in the realm of serial fiction. One of these publishers – St. Martin’s Griffin – reached out to us at Tuesday Serial. Once we heard about the excellent work they are doing, we wanted to share the news with our contributors as quickly as possible. To that end, Matt Martz from St. Martin’s Griffin has put together the following article describing their work and, most importantly to announce that they are open for submissions. Thanks for joining us, Matt!
“St. Martin’s Griffin E-serials: Call for Submissions” by Matt Martz
As the market for digital books continues to expand, we at St. Martin’s Griffin have found that there is an opportunity to grow the market for genre fiction by publishing e-originals. Recent successes of both new and established authors suggest that there is an appetite for commercial fiction that is well-packaged, competitively priced, and vigorously promoted. Given these opportunities, we are leveraging our infrastructure to expand our e-publishing efforts to original e-serials, and we wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to the serial fiction writers in the Tuesday Serial community.
What is St. Martin’s Griffin?
St. Martin’s Griffin is the paperback imprint of St. Martin’s Press. As a trade house it publishes broadly in both fiction and nonfiction in a wide range of genres from romance and YA to thrillers and far beyond. Our successes include hot new authors such as Amanda Hocking and perennial bestsellers such as Iris Johansen, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Jackie Collins. Our first e-serial—Francine Pascal’s The Sweet Life—published this summer. This adult series picks up ten years after the phenomenally successful Sweet Valley High left off, and the beloved twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are delighting lifelong fans and bringing an iconic series to a whole new audience. The response has been overwhelming, signaling a real taste and desire among readers for serialized fiction. We have a number e-serials posed come out in genres of romance and erotica, YA and suspense, and we are looking to publish even more.
What is an e-serial?
It is an exciting format that is best described as a cross between a novel and a dramatic television series. It is a series of digital-only novella-length installments that advance a narrative through a season, which is approximately 5 episodes.
The e-serial format:
The episodes are expected to be 15,000-20,000 words in length. They contain an “A” storyline to be resolved by the end of each episode, a “B” storyline to be teased out for the following episode, and a “C” storyline to be resolved over the course of the season. Each episode begins quickly and ends with a cliffhanger. Every serial should be well-plotted, fast-paced, and reflect the readers’ interest in consistent characters and storylines so that they will be compelled to return.
In addition to the accelerated schedule of weekly releases, each episode will be priced to compete with works of similar length, quality, and content. We are also aggregating the episodes into a print volume at an appropriate time in the serial’s life as a capstone or to launch the next season.
What are we looking for in an e-serial proposal?
As we begin these e-serials are planned to be largely in the genres of romance, YA, and suspense. We are seeking all subgenres with a focus on contemporary, erotic, and paranormal. High-concept ideas with the potential for intense drama will find the most success. In order to make a fair assessment of each project, we would like to see the following:
- A 2-3 sentence pitch for the e-serial as a whole
- An expanded dramatis personae with description that includes the characters’ role in the story, backstory, and planned development
- A pitch for each episode that introduces the story, complication, and cliffhanger
- The first episode
So, with that said, we would like invite the Tuesday Serial community to submit your e-serial pitches. Upon determining the projects that are the best fit, St. Martin’s Griffin will offer contracts to authors that include advances, royalties, and rights; and we will launch, market, sell, and support those authors to the fullest extent.
To submit proposals or for more information please contact Matt Martz (Matt.Martz@stmartins.com).