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The Martian and the Rise of Serial Publishing

Serial publishing is nothing new. To explain what it is, is when, over the course of months or years, an author publishes his work in several parts, one or two chapters at a time. Once a book has been serialized, it is normally republished in a single collected volume.

Many great authors of the 19th and early 20th centuries published their work in series:Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, and James Joyce, to name just three. For most of the 1900s, however, its popularity as a publishing method waned.

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This has led to a resurgence in serialized books, with The Martian , Now a great movie, being the first example..

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir, now a film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon, was originally published online. Weir released the book chapter by chapter on his website soliciting comments from his readers. One of the reasons the science is so precise in the novel is that he gave the experts the opportunity to participate in the corrections of the first drafts..

The Martian tells the story of Mark Watney, a NASA botanist who is left stranded alone on Mars after a mission fails. The whole world thinks that he is dead and he has to try to survive until humanity returns to the red planet a few years later. It's one of the best books I've personally read, and the movie version is also getting great reviews.

There are other rivers by Alastair Humphreys

Adventurer Alastair Humphreys is someone we've talked about before on MakeUseOf. Rob Nightingale wrote about his campaign to get people outdoors on little micro adventures:simple adventures that can be done overnight or over the course of a weekend. You can enjoy more than a week, a weekend or even a few hours. Here are ten microadventure videos to inspire a few steps out of your comfort zone, Read More.

Before he started throwing things back, Humphreys was one of the biggest and boldest ventures. He would go away, do something crazy, then write about it.. There are other rivers:all over India on foot it is his book about walking India from coast to coast and the daily life he encountered there. It's a wonderfully self-reflective read on what it really means to step out of your comfort zone.

While most books are serialized before they are published as a complete work, Humphreys takes the opposite approach. Although the book has been out for a few years, Humphreys has released it chapter by chapter on his blog for the last month.

The human division by John Scalzi

The human divide by John Scalzi, unlike most of the other books on this list, it was serialized with the support of a major publisher:Tor Books.

The novel is the fourth sequel to Old Man's War, Scalzi's military science fiction novel about a human society where 75-year-olds can enlist in the interstellar army and replace their old bodies with younger models. The whole series is great and worth reading..

Serialization The Human Division proved so successful that Tor decided to take the same approach with the sequel The End of All Things . Both novels are published in their entirety now, so their serial installments are not available.

Follow the Geeks by Lyndsey Gilpin and Jason Hiner

Follow the Geeks by Lyndsey Gilpin and Jason Hiner, two technology journalists, is a collection of separate non-fiction stories about "10 Internet Entrepreneurs Who Deviated From Traditional Careers To Start Their Own Business." Each chapter stands on its own. In addition to being serialized online, Gilpin and Hiner are using crowdfunding 5 Crowdfunding Sites Where You Can Raise Money For Your Next Book 5 Crowdfunding Sites Where You Can Raise Money For Your Next Book If you're looking to write a book, whether it's fiction or not Fiction:There are several routes you can take for startup funding. One of these routes is to harness the power of the crowd. Read More

At any one time, there is only one chapter available for free on their website. Right now, they're at chapter eight out of 10. If you pre-order the book, however, you'll get access to the previous seven chapters immediately. It's a very clever setup and I suspect many other authors will follow suit.

Many of the geeks featured are household names, such as Gina Trapani (one of the Biggest Geeks on Twitter 8 of The Biggest Geeks on Twitter (Who Just Happen To Be Girls).) Geekdom has long been perceived as the domain of men, as teenagers are fascinated by technology and Star Wars become adult adults obsessed with technology and Star Wars. While it is true... Read More) who founded Lifehacker. I have read some of the chapters and they have all been fantastic..

Kill option by Andrew Peterson

Amazon, which never let a digital trend pass by, also jumped into serial publishing. Its Kindle Serials program allows authors to publish a serialized novel directly to people's Kindles. Every time a new installment is published, the Kindle eBook on your device is updated over the Internet.

One of the most popular novels to come out of the Kindle Serials program is Kill Option by Andrew Peterson, the third novel in his Nathan McBride series .

Nathan McBride's character is a former Navy and CIA agent who now works in the private sector. McBride has an unfortunate habit of getting caught up in international situations and having to use his skills to resolve them. Novels are fun, action-packed, and hard to put down. They're the perfect kind of novel for serialization, with lots of cliffhangers.

Closing the book

Serial publishing is back. The success of books like The Martian , The human division , and Follow the Geeks shows that it is a great way for individuals, or even large publishers, to publish books. It intersects perfectly with crowdfunding and also allows authors to share their ideas with their readers, and even experts, before the final book is printed.

Not all books will be serialized, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more publishers and established authors playing around with this method in the years to come. mark my words, The Martian It's just the beginning of this trend..

Do you like serial publishing or would you prefer to wait until all the work is done? What did you think of my list? Did I miss a great book? Let us know in the comments below.