Serial Fiction – As Old As Printing / As New As Your Smart Phone

Serial Fiction may have begun when the first person telling a story around a camp fire late at night got the idea to leave his or her audience at the edge of their seats until the next night with a cliff hanger ending and a “to be continued.” If we had a time machine we could go back an listen.

Printed serial fiction got started in the 17th Century with the introduction of moveable type. In the 18th Century, Dickens’ Pickwick Papers started an avalanche of serial novels. Wilkie Collins, the so-called father of the detective novel, published serial novels. In France, Alexander Dumas, author of The Count of Monte Cristo, published serial novels. Gustave Flaubert’s, Madame Bovary; Leo Tolstoy’s, Anna Karenina, and Dostoevsky’s, Brothers Karamazov were all published as serials.

American authors, Henry James, Herman Melville and Harriet Beecher Stowe all published serial fiction. Perhaps America’s most influential novel – Uncle Tom’s Cabin – was published as a serial.

Check out this entry at Wikipedia – Serial (Literature) to find out more.







Your thoughts on serial fiction

I’m writing two serial fiction stories. Please let me know what you think about reading serial fiction:

1. Whether you’ve ever read a serial?
2. What kind of serial fiction you’ve read?
3. Whether you like serials?
4. If you think serials can “work” today when people have less time to read?

This will be my approach to releasing my stories: one story will be released as novellas on Amazon and Smashwords; the other will be released on a blog website connected to this one with an entry appearing on a regular schedule, either everyday or every other day, etc. in short segments. The pieces will be collected after a time and also published on Amazon and Smashwords.

Both stories have crime themes. The first story is set in the near future in Southern California. The second story is a murder mystery with a magic and erotic element.

I’m writing them now, and they’ll be coming your way soon.



Who do you follow on Twitter?

Okay, you’re an enovelist. You’ve got novels published on Amazon and Smashwords. You’re social media literate. So who do you follow on Twitter? Can you please share your list?

So maybe you’re not an enovelist, but you’re a creative artist – a musician, a songwriter, a visual artist, a poet, a movie maker, in other words, you make something and often share what you make with others – so who do you follow on Twitter?

Next question: maybe you’re not a creative artist, but you’re active in social media, besides friends and former classmates and workmates, who do you follow and why?


You can follow me on Twitter: @ReynoldAkison
Reynold Akison – enovelist

Twittering One

I’ve had a Twitter account for several years, but I admit I never used it much. I did transcribe the first chapter of my enovel – Not Just A Girl – into 140 character segments just to see if anyone might be interested and care to find out more about my book. However it didn’t get me any additional followers but was a dandy exercise in editing to the Twitter 140 character limitation.

So now I’m working my way through wikihow’s various Twitter how-tos at

If anyone wants to start a discussion in this space about the best way of using Twitter for an enovelist, please leave your comments. Share what you know or what you suspect.

And please follow me on Twitter at @ReynoldAkison

Ideas Are Easy; Marketing is Hard

I know it’s a big jump from the idea for your novel to marketing your finished book, but marketing your book once you’re finished writing is something you need to keep in mind – I wish I had. You see, I’ve got three enovels – Insure to Murder, Death of a Guru, and Not Just A Girl – languishing in cyberspace because I didn’t start marketing those novels until after I had written them and published them at Amazon and Smashwords.

My mistake. Experienced enovelists suggest that you think about marketing your books before you finish writing them – as if you didn’t have enough do and to think about. In other words, think about how you’ll market your enovel along with creating your book’s characters, story and plot.

Like I said, I waited until I had published, not one, but three enovels before I’ve really gotten started with my marketing efforts. I wanted to write the novels, and I had the energy, the ideas, characters and time, so I forged ahead.

Yes, I built this Word Press blog site as the home base for my fiction writing and “collected works” and to provide a platform from which to communicate about my books and what I was doing as an enovelist. But I had never blogged before and didn’t have any idea what to write about. So this is a work-in-progress.

Let me clarify my title: finding ideas to use as a basis for a story of whatever length has been easier for me (and maybe for you?) then learning how to be a consistent online marketer of my work.

But now I have embarked on an educational program that I hope will to teach me how to market my books online with your help. My intention is to share what I’m learning about marketing online through this blog. I would hope you will share what you’ve learned too and/or ask questions.

Right now I assume the popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will play the biggest part in my online marketing education. It would be swell if you would like to share what’s worked for you on those sites.

What to do with your idea now?

Now that you’ve got a good idea for your novel, how do you turn it into a book? Some writers might advise you to start writing immediately and see what happens. I’ve tried that, and I’ve found that if my idea, characters and plot are lively enough, I can get off to a good start. I began writing my speculative-fiction novel – Not Just A Girl – that way. The character’s conversations sustained the forward movement of the story for nearly half of the first novel. After that, I outlined the rest of the story. I’ve also written short fiction that way too.

Elmore Leonard says he auditions his characters while he’s writing – giving his approach a Hollywood or theatrical spin.

Other writers might suggest that you research you idea, and find characters who will fit the roles needed to bring the idea to life and then learn everything you can about your characters. Then sketch out your plot and begin writing.

On the other hand, your idea might not be an idea at all, but a cast of characters living and carrying on in a particular place and time. You may see these characters and hear them talk to one another or even to themselves. They might be discussing love or sex or the neighbors or gun control or the band or singer they saw the night before.

If you’ve got characters let them talk all they want. Get out whatever you use to write with and start taking down their talk. After awhile they may help you discover your story and plot.

Whatever approach you try, it all starts with the first word, the first sentence and the first paragraph. Don’t be afraid to start. Just remember that all good writing is usually re-writing. That means once you’ve finished writing for the day, or you’ve reached the end of your story or novel, you can and mostly likely will go back and rewrite what you’ve done and make it better.

So why not make a start now. What do you have to lose? What you write doesn’t have to be “perfect” the first time out. Go for it!

Let Your Ideas Fall Where They May

I read a front page article from the Sunday edition of the New York Times a few years ago on a new money-making scheme Wall Street insiders were beginning to invest in called – Life Settlements. It was a simple idea that had been around for awhile – purchase the life insurance policies of the old and/or infirm for less than the payout value, continue to pay the premiums, and then collect the payout when the person died – presumably a lot more money than the purchase price and the total dollar value of the premiums the investors had to pay.

The writer of the article hinted that Life Settlements might have the potential of becoming Wall Street’s next housing boom because of the trillions of dollars worth of insurance policies held by Americans. There was an undertone in the article that another Wall Street disaster might eventually occur.

The idea I took from the article was this: if investors wanted to maximize their investment, the insured had to die as soon as possible after the investor bought the insured’s policy. The longer the investor had to pay the premiums on an insurance policy, the less profit the investor would make.

That idea that sat in the back of my mind for a few days. Then I read the article again and highlighted various parts and made notes about possible characters and events that might take place, and areas that I would have to research to build a background of information on Life Settlements.

When I came back to the article and my notes a few weeks later with fresh eyes I realized that Life Investments held a lot of potential, in my humble opinion, for a crime novel. I didn’t have my novel’s title – Insure to Murder – yet, but I was sure that a private detective like Robert Champion would want to take on a case surrounding the untimely deaths of former life insurance policy holders.

So where do you find your ideas?

New eNovel – Insure to Murder is Published!

I’ve finally published my new Robert Champion eNovel – Insure to Murder.

Here’s a short summary: During private detective Robert Champion’s investigation into the death of his client’s mother, he uncovers a life insurance scam run by bankers, investors and the Russian Mafia, along with a caregiver who also delivers death!

I’ve enjoyed writing about Robert Champion and his world in the wine country of Central California and Santa Barbara. I hope you will enjoy stepping into his world too. You can read Chapter 1 of Insure to Murder right here on my website. You can read more and download Insure to Murder for $2.99 on Amazon at:

Or at Smashwords at:

Please give Insure to Murder a try and come back here an let me know what you think.