A few months ago I posted a serial story on this blog entitled On an Empty Shore. It was for me a lovely experiment in flash fiction featuring a mash-up of some of my favourite themes, namely vampires in a post-zombiepocalyptic society. I picked up a good few new readers and thoroughly enjoyed the process of putting this story out. Using Twitter and the TuesdaySerial hashtag, I put the story out there, to great success.
Today I'm pleased to have Tony and PJ of TuesdaySerial over on my blog, to tell us a little more about this process.
When and how did TuesdaySerial come about?
Last year (on May 1, 2010, to be precise) a few of the writers on Twitter were discussing how most existing hashtags for promoting and/or finding fiction were geared toward standalone stories, not toward serials. After kicking around a few ideas, we proposed a new hashtag, #TuesdaySerial, to help authors and readers of online serials and serialized novels find each other. From the idea on Twitter came the website with the weekly collector and then the regular contributions of writers, editors and publishers who have an interest in serials on the web.
How does TuesdaySerial benefit authors?
For writers of serials, connecting with readers poses a special challenge. You need to entice that demographic slice of readers who are looking for longer form fiction, but also readers who might be new to it and are willing to give it a shot. At the same time, within that group are readers whose primary interests will lie with one or more specific genres. When readers have to sift through a lot of things they don't care about to find those things that they like, it can turn them off from the whole experience. TuesdaySerial benefits authors and readers by having a structured, easy-to-use means to get serial fiction out there for people to see. If you want toys, you know you'll find them at Toys-R-Us. If you want serial fiction, you know you'll find it at TuesdaySerial.com.
We also bring guest posts to our readers and contributors that generally have to do with serial fiction or other topics of interest. We try to do everything we can do support the community and help our contributors grow and find readers.
In a nutshell, explain how TuesdaySerial works.
Each Tuesday, from midnight to midnight Eastern Time, the TuesdaySerial collector is open for new entries. The author of a serial will provide the title of the serial, the genre of the serial, what episode is being posted that week, a link directly to that episode, special notes if it is a debut episode of a new serial or the finale of an ongoing serial, and the author's name. Readers who just can't wait can then come to the Collector page that day, or, if they are a bit more patient, come to the Weekly Report, which will list all the week's episodes. This information lets readers track the work of favorite authors, find serials in favorite genres, be aware of new works and get a handle on completed serials that they could read start to finish. Completed serials are listed on our Graduates page.
What sort of stories have proven to be the most popular?
That's the great thing about TuesdaySerial. Stories which might have only a thin following can be brought up to the fore and find a readership that will fall in love with them. The serials range in genre and tone, from horror and thriller to science fiction and fantasy. Some of them run for more than fifty episodes, others tell a complete story with a dozen or less. One part of it all which has been a great joy for us as writers is the TuesdaySerial Hall of Fame. This is collection of serials which had been promoted through TuesdaySerial which have been published in print or ebook. These talented writers and eager readers connected with each other via TuesdaySerial. It's a great object lesson on how social media can help to build bridges and open new opportunities.