Writing

I Serialized My Novel On Medium Before Publishing It

The results of my experiment

Mark Starlin
6 min readJun 28, 2020

--

Mark Starlin

Serializing my novel on Medium before publishing it was an experiment. Since I planned to self-publish my novel, I didn’t see any downside to serializing it first on Medium. And I discovered several upsides.

The Strategy

Some writers post parts of their novels (or WIPs) on Medium sporadically, with weeks or even months going by between posts. Others publish once a week. Some on set days of the week.

Personally, if I go more than a couple of days without reading a story, I forget what is happening. So I decided to publish a new (three to seven-minute read) part daily. I figured three to five minutes was a good length for casual or impulse reading. I also thought it would be a good length for readers to try out part of the story to see if they like it.

Fortunately, I wrote my novel in short “scenes.” When posting on Medium, I often combined two scenes together when one was too short. This is where the seven-minute parts came from.

Benefits of Serialization

Here are some of the benefits I discovered by serializing my novel.

When I self-published my novel, after a few days, most of the initial joy was over. By serializing my novel on Medium, I got a couple of months of enjoyment as I published a new portion every day. And I continue to gain readers now that it is fully posted.

I got helpful feedback. One writer sent me a private message pointing out an error I made about Egyptian camels. They told me they made the same mistake in one of their novels. I was grateful for their helpful and welcome advice. I was able to fix my error before any books were sold. Others told me what they liked about the story. This was helpful also. It let me know what I was doing right.

I had regular readers who read each part daily, which was encouraging. And I picked up regular readers as the serialization went on. I knew people were reading my story. A sold novel may never get read. Unless the reader posts a review or tells you, you never really know.

--

--