option to kill

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Taking Chances Part 3 of 4: To Serial or not to Serial

Taking Chances Part 3 of 4

“To Serial or not to Serial”

Every new chance you take is an opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t. Some of those opportunities come from your publisher. Thomas & Mercer approached me with an idea to release my third book, OPTION TO KILL, as a serial novel. The book would be released in episodic format every two weeks, similar to the classic serials of yore.

Option-197x300 - Taking Chances Part 3 of 4: To Serial or not to Serial

It was a big leap of faith.

Serialized fiction surged in popularity during Britain’s Victorian era, but that happened a longtime ago. The question was: could modern-day readers embrace the concept? In the age of fast food, fast cars and fast Internet, could people slow down and enjoy a novel over time, like a good bottle of wine? Many people don’t have large blocks of time to read. They’re busy with work, recreation, and family. I asked myself if these serial installments would appeal to them.

The answer was overwhelmingly no. Very few readers liked the episodic format, in large part because they didn’t fully understand what they’d purchased. It wasn’t a money issue. APub didn’t charge per episode. The book was sold at a huge discount upfront and the episodes automatically downloaded every two weeks.

It seemed our fast-food society wasn’t willing to wait. But I’d taken the chance.

Negative reviews hammered OPTION’s rating. I felt like a punching bag. All of the early one-star reviews criticized the episodic format. I remember an email exchange I had with Jeff Belle, Vice President of Amazon Publishing, in which I said, “Well, I guess the pioneers take the arrows!” He agreed and told me not to worry too much. Still, it was difficult to see. Don’t get me wrong, people liked the book, they just didn’t like the serial format. I responded to every email I received. The best advice I could give them was to wait until all the episodes had downloaded to read it.

amazonpub-300x57 - Taking Chances Part 3 of 4: To Serial or not to Serial

Although the serial novel project couldn’t be called a huge success, I really admire Amazon Publishing for giving it a try, and I’m glad I took part in it. It reflects APub’s forward and innovative thinking.

It was a challenging writing experience, to say the least. OPTION wasn’t a complete book that we broke into episodes. I wrote OPTION as a true serial novel—10,000-word episodes every two weeks. Needless to say, it took a toll on me. Overall, I’m glad I tried it.

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Andrew PetersonTaking Chances Part 3 of 4: To Serial or not to Serial

Option to Kill featured on WSJ: The Return of The Serial Novel

OPTION TO KILL was featured in the Wall Street Journal today. What a nice surprise! It’s an interesting article about how the “serialized” thrillers from days long past are being reintroduced and making a comeback. Could we be heading toward a new age of week-to-week nail biting and living on the edge of seats while our favorite heroes dive into peril and excitement with each new episode? I don’t know about you, but it sounds like an intriguing concept that’s well suited for the digital age.

In September 2012, OPTION TO KILL was originally launched as a serialized novel in seven episodes (released every two weeks,) but it’s now available as a complete eBook, trade paperback, or audiobook. I hope you enjoy the WSJ article.

OptionToKill_Front-202x300 - Option to Kill featured on WSJ: The Return of The Serial NovelBy ALEXANDRA ALTER

Serialized fiction, an all-but-lost art form that was practiced by such literary giants as Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy and Joseph Conrad, is rebounding in the digital era. The growing use of tablets, smartphones and e-ink devices has created a vibrant new market for short fiction as readers flock to stories they can digest in one sitting.

Hoping to make novels as habit-forming as appointment television, a handful of publishers and several new digital-publishing upstarts are experimenting with the same type of short, episodic fiction that weekly or monthly periodicals published in the 19th century.  READ MORE

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Andrew PetersonOption to Kill featured on WSJ: The Return of The Serial Novel

OPTION TO KILL – now offered as a completed Kindle eBook!

Several months ago, my editor at Thomas & Mercer asked if I’d like to participate in the new Kindle Serial program. It sounded interesting, so I jumped in with both feet. It turned out to be a challenging project. Over the course of 3-1/2 months, I had to write an entire novel and turn in 10,000 word episodes for publication every two weeks! I sequestered myself in my studio and got to work.

Now that the serialized novel is complete, you can order the complete Kindle book in non-serial format.

I think OPTION TO KILL is the best Nathan McBride novel to date. I’d spent a lot of time thinking about it before I started to write the manuscript, so it was just a matter of getting story into the computer. In Nathan’s third adventure, he’s got his hands full with an untimely ally! Here’s a brief overview from the Kindle listing:

When Nathan McBride receives a text message from someone who claims she’s been kidnapped, it triggers a deadly chain of events that has the potential to haunt him for the rest of his life.

Nathan will soon learn that nothing from his past could ever prepare him for the crisis he’ll soon be facing. The girl’s name is Lauren and she’s just twelve years old. With virtually no experience with children, Nathan’s patience and compassion are about to be tested to their limits

In a violent confrontation, Nathan rescues Lauren from her kidnapper, but as he unravels Lauren’s story, he realizes his troubles are only beginning. She says she’s in the Witness Security Program, and doesn’t trust the US Marshals because she thinks they’re complicit in her abduction. Not only that, her stepdad was murdered last night.

In a desperate and unlikely alliance, Nathan and Lauren must stay one step ahead of her kidnapper and the brutal mercenaries who will kill anyone who gets in their way. Played out over the course of 36 lightning-fast hours, Nathan and Lauren must learn to trust each other or they won’t survive.

Some folks have asked why OPTION TO KILL isn’t available on Nook. Here’s why: My publisher, Thomas & Mercer, is a Amazon subsidiary. Amazon has an exclusive contract with Thomas & Mercer to produce, sell, and market all Thomas & Mercer authors, such as myself. You can still read the third Nathan McBride. Kindle offers a free app for computers, cell phones, and tablets. The app turns these devices into Kindle readers.

The print and audio editions will be launched in the first week of January. OPTION TO KILL is not expensive like other eBooks. Thomas & Mercer strives to keep its authors affordable. The price of OPTION is $3.99. Does anyone else out there think that paying $12.99 for an eBook is outrageous?

Dive into Nathan’s third adventure, you won’t be disappointed!

OptionToKill_Front-692x1024 - OPTION TO KILL - now offered as a completed Kindle eBook!

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Andrew PetersonOPTION TO KILL – now offered as a completed Kindle eBook!

Option to Kill – Out now!

You might have already heard that my new thriller Option to Kill is now available. And while I’m excited to announce this, I’m equally excited to announce that it is being released as a serial thriller for Amazon Kindle! It will be like the old classic serial thrillers!

Here is the description of Option to Kill and a link to the listing:

OptionToKill_Front-202x300 - Option to Kill - Out now!

This book is a Kindle Serial. Kindle Serials are stories published in episodes, with future episodes delivered at no additional cost. This serial currently contains one episode out of an estimated eight total episodes, and new episodes will be delivered every two weeks.

Nathan McBride, “the most brutally effective thriller hero to appear in years” (Ridley Pearson, author of Killer Weekend), returns in the third installment of one of the best new series in thriller fiction.

When Nathan McBride receives a text message from someone who claims she’s been kidnapped, it triggers a deadly chain of events that has the potential to haunt him for the rest of his life.

Nathan will soon learn that nothing from his past could ever prepare him for the crisis he’ll soon be facing. The girl’s name is Lauren and she’s just twelve years old. With virtually no experience with children, Nathan’s patience and compassion are about to be tested to their limits

In a violent confrontation, Nathan rescues Lauren from her kidnapper, but as he unravels Lauren’s story, he realizes his troubles are only beginning. She says she’s in the Witness Security Program, and doesn’t trust the US Marshals because she thinks they’re complicit in her abduction. Not only that, her stepdad was murdered last night.

In a desperate and unlikely alliance, Nathan and Lauren must stay one step ahead of her kidnapper and the brutal mercenaries who will kill anyone who gets in their way. Played out over the course of 36 lightning-fast hours, Nathan and Lauren must learn to trust each other or they won’t survive.

Click here to learn more!

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Andrew PetersonOption to Kill – Out now!