Mondays Friend: Calle J Brookes

Today I am pleased to welcome Calle J Brookes to the blog to talk about serials. And not the kind you have for breakfast.

WRITING AN ONLINE SERIAL FOR YOUR BLOG
By Calle J Brookes

First, I want to say thank you for having me, Sara Jayne! I don’t do many guest blog spots and I’m thrilled to be here!

Today I want to talk about serial writing. I don’t mean series writing, I mean writing a story in ‘installments’, and publishing it for your readers in chunks.

I got my start in serial writing several years ago with fanfiction and quickly grew to love the instant feedback it would get me. I’ve recently brought that love of serial writing back into my life by writing The Wolf God & His Mate. This story started out as a very short one intended as a ‘freebie’ on my blog.

Feedback was so overwhelmingly positive on this story—which was part of my larger paranormal romance universe—that I kept going. And going. Until it ended up being 20,000 words long! That’s longer than the first novella I published in the series!

I do credit The Wolf God & His Mate with helping build my blog readership—and increasing my book sales overall. The online read was tweeted and shared and had many hits from searches of ‘free paranormal romance reads’ and other similar search terms. It brought tons of new readers to my blog who otherwise wouldn’t have found me, or my books. I don’t do very much book promotion and this is the primary way readers found me. I now get close to 1500 unique visitors to my blog each month. The Wolf God & His Mate gets the most hits overall.

There are a few reasons why I think The Wolf God was so successful:

1.  I updated regularly. I would do my very best to have a new chapter posted at least each month. My ultimate goal was every two weeks. Sometimes I posted more frequently, other times far less. Each installment also ended on a cliffhanger.

2.  I listened to feedback. I loved that my readers could tell me what they liked or didn’t about the chapter. And if I contradicted myself they would let me know and I would fix it!

3.  I kept each chapter short. I tried to keep each installment less than 900 words or so. This made for fast, easy reading.

And,

4.  I didn’t charge for it or only post half, and tell readers they could buy the rest. (I’ve seen it done the opposite way, and I did not like that!) I started out with a free read-in-progress, and it was going to remain a free-read-in-progress. I don’t believe in charging readers for installment or serial stories, unless the entire story is completed and bundled together. Why would someone want to buy a book that they don’t get the whole story?

Serials are a great way to build readership, and for author-bloggers just starting out—especially those who intend to write many books in the same series—a serial story could help build the blog. But care must be put into it from the beginning to ensure the visitors get what they want and expect!

Currently, I’m working on a serial for my romantic suspense series featuring Agent Jasmine Len.

FBI Agent Jasmine Len loved working for Deputy Director Edward Dennis in the St. Louis Field Office. They were working hard to get the Prevention & Analysis of Violent Acts Division off the ground. When someone threatens Ed and the new division, Len will do whatever it takes to keep him safe…even pair up with Special Agent Dakon Royal to find the culprits, despite how Royal gets beneath her skin…

Please feel free to hop on over and check out my serials—and my series’!

About DARDANOS, CO. (paranormal romance)

They’d inhabited Gaia long before humans, the Dardaptoans, the Lupioux, Demons, and Warriors alike. They’d lived, loved, and battled through the millennia. Now, the time has come for them to stake their claim on the world they loved—before it was too late. The vampiric Dardaptoan race had settled in the mountains of Colorado, where they’d existed in peace with their human neighbors. Until the human Leo Taniss started hunting them. Now the leaders of the Dardaptoans have to do what they must to protect their people…even if it means eliminating Taniss’s granddaughters one by one…

PAVAD: PREVENTION & ANALYSIS OF VIOLENT ACTS DIVISION: (romantic suspense/thrillers)

PAVAD—the Prevention & Analysis of Violent Acts Division is a special directorate of the FBI, located in St. Louis, and ran by Deputy Director Edward Dennis. PAVAD was formed by Dennis to combat today’s increasingly complex crimes in a modern nation. PAVAD consists of only the best of the FBI’s best, and addresses cases involving everything from kidnapping, money-laundering, extortion, all the way up to RICO violations. The PAVAD unit consists of more than a dozen teams ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice to every corner of the United States…

At this point, each series has at least ten books planned and in the works. The second installment of the PAVAD series will be released Monday, Oct. 15th, and the tenth story in the Dardanos, Co. series will be released around Christmas 2012.

ABOUT CALLE:

Calle J. Brookes is the author of several paranormal romances set in Dardanos, Colorado and of the PAVAD romantic suspenses. Her work can be purchased at every major ebook retailer, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. She can be found lurking around the web at www.callejbrookes.wordpress.com.

She has been writing professionally since the age of eighteen when she lucked into a part-time journalism position; her love and enjoyment of working with the written word has only grown throughout the years. Now, she is glad to say that she writes fiction full-time (and does part-time content editing for other authors), and self-publishes most of her works.

Her current writing obsessions include her paranormal romance series featuring the Dardanos, Co. characters and my romantic suspense series featuring members of the PAVAD division of the FBI.

Her latest release WANTING should hit the Amazon and Smashwords ‘shelves’ today!

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