This month, we are very pleased to have as our special guest Bea Moyes from Ether Books. Bea is the Content and Social Media Director at Ether Books. She is here to tell us about the resurgence of the serial as a literary form and how Ether Books serves serial readers and writers. We welcome discussion on this post and Bea will be checking in to answer any questions our readers may have.
A Serial Renaissance by Bea Moyes of Ether Books
In the last decade the ‘serialisation’ has had a complete and much overdue renaissance. The digital age has bred a new generation of writers who are not limited by traditional publishing schedules but are eager to find new avenues to reach their audience by publishing online: on their blogs, WEB sites and now direct to mobile phone! It has encouraged experimentation, and direct interaction between the writer and their readers, but more significantly it has nurtured the short form ‘episodic’ writing which can carry the depth of a novel but in short segments. We increasingly have a democratisation of fiction which values quality of content over traditional limitations on genre, style and length.
I say this with complete admiration and significant bias. As a director at Ether Books, I actively promote the disruption which the digital age has brought to traditional publishing and the opportunities which it has created for writers of the serial form. Ether Books is an innovator of mobile publishing, providing short fiction, articles and poetry directly to readers on their mobile. We curate the best short content, providing writers not only with access to a global readership through our mobile app, but also allowing them to keep the exclusive rights to their work. We believe that digital publishing is at the head of a revolution, putting the control of content back in the hands of the writers.
We have published a number of serialisations, and we are actively looking to publish more because of our rapidly growing audience for quality serialisations. The serial is PERFECT for mobile because readers can download the next episode of the serial every week and have what we call a ‘byte sized read’ on-the-go. Most of our published serialisations are written beforehand and submitted to us as a whole, but the possibilities are endless. In the future we can easily publish the first episode of a serial and allow the writer to adapt the story according to the feedback their readers give back.
We are aware that this new technology, and the immediacy with which digital publishing can reach its audience, will have a significant effect on the way writers write. Unlike traditional publishing, writers can adapt their work AFTER publication and alter their style with direct feedback from their readers. I would very much like to hear from you about what this means, if anything, for you! Does this fill you with fear and dread, or does the freedom which this affords the writer encourage you to view your work differently, as a continuously evolving process? I will be reading any comments you might post below and answering any questions and/or answers you might have!
In my opinion, quite ironically, the digital age has almost brought us full circle to the glory days of the serial in the 19th Century. You’ll have to forgive me; I am a history graduate so I am often liable to compare modern circumstances to the past. However, it is true that in the 19th Century, celebrated authors like Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins popularised the serial form, publishing in monthly instalments in national newspapers and magazines. Many of the great works of fiction which we cherish as novels were originally written in parts, read in episodes and adapted according to the audience responses. Their contemporary popularity has been described as akin to modern soap operas, and it is this popularity which I believe is being revived through the internet, through new digital publishing methods and the support of readers who are eager to find quality short nuggets of fiction with great characters, plot and writing which they can return to, again and again.
If any of you are interested in submitting to Ether Books you can visit our website www.etherbooks.com. We accept submissions from ALL genres and you once you have signed up as an Ether member, you can submit work through our online Submission Form.
Really looking forward to your responses to this post. I'll be around to answer any questions you might post so fire away!
Very interesting post…I'm definitely interested in submitting. Ether's business model and system looks excellent, so I have no qualms personally about going aboard. More than anything, thank you for taking the time to post this for all of us.
I do have two questions, though. What are Ether's feelings about authors who already have a dedicated blog, or even a small following online? For example, if I were to publish through Ether, would they prefer I submitted something completely new, or would it be OK to submit the beginning of a serial that is already in progress? I suppose the same thing can be said for e-books. Since I already post my serial for free on the internet, I also created an e-book of the first volume available for digital distribution for free. Would Ether be discouraged from picking me up?
The other question is about the word "obscene" in the terms of conditions. Does Ether have a policy against fiction containing violence, sex, language, so on and so forth? I'd like to know the details about what Ether will and won't accept.
Again, thank you very much!
I'm so glad you like the post! In answer to some of your questions, We absolutely LOVE writers who already have a dedicated blog and a small or large following online. We are all about tapping into these already established digital audiences which writers have found for themselves as well as giving them another platform to distribute their work and reach new audience. We don't mind if writers have already published their work online as we only hold the non-exclusive global rights to content so writers maintain control of the rights to their work and can publish it elsewhere.
As to you're question about what we accept, the simple answer is as long as it's good, it has an audience and it is not completely inflammatory, then we'll be interested in publishing it. What we are about is QUALITY short content, so we already content in genres like Urban Horror, Noir and Erotica and have published Non-Fiction pieces on subjects like Yoga and an article called 'Meat Free Monday' by Sir Paul McCartney in our catalogue.
I hope that answers your questions. I really look forward to reading any content you submit!
Thanks for the prompt answer, Bea! I will be submitting very soon!
Bea – Just wanted to thank you very much for stopping by and telling us all about Ether Books. I encourage everybody to check out the Ether Books website for further information. Thanks! 🙂 – PJ
Great blog post!
I am an Ether Author and it's been a pleasure working with Ether and seeing my stories up on the App. It's exciting to know that people can now read my work anywhere in the world by simply clicking a button.
Rebecca you are so great!
When you download the Ether APP from the iTunes Store, be sure to check out Rebecca's fantatic stories, especially one of my favorites, ''Rocky Road. Not only is she a brilliant writer, but also one of the kindest people I know!