Today I finished reading Blackout Renegade by Miles Rozak. I grabbed it as part of the SciFiGiveaway.com promotion, I mentioned the other day. I loved it! It kicks off with a kid (who’s Arun McEwan’s age in Marine Cadet) in a dark, dystopian city in America after the fall. (I mean the fall of civilization, not when the leaves turn red, though that’s cool too). I didn’t know whether to worry more about the city authorities or the Big Bad threatening all of its citizens. Actually, they’re both pretty disturbing. Then the superhero elements start kicking in, and then… tune in next week!
I admit, I get so busy that I sometimes don’t pay attention to every detail of my life these days (my wife says it’s my age) and I didn’t pick up in advance that Blackout Renegade is the first episode in a serial. As novellas rather than my novelettes, it’s a little longer than the Chimera Company issues I’m writing, but it’s still a similar idea. So it’s a relief for me to read Miles’ book and think, “I really want to hit that pre-order button for the next book”, because that’s what I need people to do with Chimera Company when it comes out. Eat your own dog food we used to say when I worked in software development (translation: try the concept you're developing as an end user would). Well, I found it pretty tasty, I can tell you!
I’ve had plenty of advice from well-meaning friends telling me that writing a serial is a bad idea because they never sell well. Hopefully Miles and I can turn that around.
It’s not just us. Scott Moon and Craig Martelle did their Darklanding novellas recently and said they had some success. Johnny B Truant and Sean Platt did The Beam as serials back in 2013 but weren’t convinced it was a good commercial idea.
Earlier in the week, I read the start of another new serial called Galactic Blues that was pretty good.
With all this activity, maybe now’s the time for serials to shine, and Chimera Company will be at the forefront. I still remember the thrill I had as a kid each week when 2000AD comic dropped through the letterbox. I always read it cover to cover the same day. That’s the kind of thrill I want to deliver with my stories.
If you’ve read serials yourself and liked them, or didn’t… I’d love to hear your thoughts on why they did or did not work. Looks like I’ll need every edge I can get to make Chimera Company put food on the table, not that the challenge is going to stop me trying.
If you want to check out Blackout Renegade for yourself, you can find it at the top of the list of books in scifigiveaway, which is running for another few days. Find it here: https://scifigiveaway.com
Chimera Company won’t launch publicly until early 2019, but you can read and review earlier (not quite yet, though), get involved and hang out in the Facebook Group I created recently. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/256125978389285/
Take care and enjoy your reading. I hope to see you soon at the Facebook group.