Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Kindle Serials are books published in episodes. When you buy a Kindle Serial, you receive all existing episodes on your Kindle immediately, with future episodes delivered at no additional cost. If you buy the book while it is still being serialized you get to read the story as the author creates it, and whenever you buy it you can discuss episodes with other readers in the Kindle forums.

Right now the only Young Adult Kindle Serial available for sale is Erin Fry's THE BENEFACTOR. Currently three episodes are available out of an estimated six total episodes, with new episodes delivered to your Kindle every week.

In January 2014, Amazon will be selling THE BENEFACTOR in its entirety in paperback for a higher price than the $1.99 serialized price.

How did Erin get this gig?
Erin and I were talking about Kindle Serials and she came up with a great idea that fit the format to a T. We presented it to Amazon and they jumped on it.

I think the key is to come up with a book that is enhanced by the episodic presentation. THE BENEFACTOR is a story about eight high school seniors who compete for a college scholarship on a reality show where do-or-die challenges require more than high SAT scores to avoid elimination. Each episode is an episode of the 'television show'.

I know that future Kindle Serials are NOT based on fictional television reality shows, but for THE BENEFACTOR I think there is no better format for this kind of book. A true opportunity for both author and publisher.

Does Amazon pay well for YA Kindle Serials?
I can't speak for any other deal than Erin's but I can tell you we were very happy with the advance and royalties that we all finally agreed upon.

Do you want to write a YA Kindle Serial?
I'd suggest coming up with fantastic concepts that are enhanced by the episode delivery format. Make a list of ideas and see how you can use the format to enhance your concept, and your writing. For more information on writing concepts and how to brainstorm them please read my post WHAT MAKES A BOOK SELL.

I'd also suggest you fork over the $1.99 and see why Amazon chose THE BENEFACTOR to be the first YA Kindle Serial, and what sets it apart from other novels.


They come from different walks of life, with different problems and different hopes and dreams. But they have one thing in common: they need a scholarship to college. And they’re ready to battle seven other contestants on a reality TV show to get it.

Mei, a budding artist with a secret disability;
Henry, not in it for the money but for the chance to follow his true dream;
Lucy, a tough Texan from a new kind of family;
Tyrell, an injured football star with a sick sister at home;
Sam, a musician with no family to fall back on;
Allyson, a devout Christian with a good reason to pray;
Cassidy, a beauty with a secret; and
Hiroshi, a varsity swimmer who left behind his true love.

But only one contestant can win on The Benefactor. Who will take home the big prize? Tune in to find out.

Episode List
An additional episode will be delivered every week until the book is complete. New episodes will be added to the same book on your Kindle, keeping your place and retaining your notes and highlights. You'll be notified via email when a new episode has been delivered.

Episode 1: October 8, 2013. 54 pages. The eight contestants arrrive in California and compete in their first challenge.
Episode 2: October 15, 2013. 51 pages. The results of the first Elimination are revealed, and new alliances form as the contestants compete in their second challenge.
Episode 3: October 22, 2013. 47 pages. The contestants' true colors begin to show, as one person is sent home and the remaining six compete in the third challenge.
Episode 4: October 29, 2013. 49 pages. A devastating tragedy sends one contestant home.

Discuss the episodes with other readers in this book’s Customer Discussions Forum on Amazon.com.

Sign up for A PATH TO PUBLISHING online face-to-face writing workshops. Wether you choose the NOVEL TRACK or the PICTURE BOOK TRACK, our goal is ensure you understand concept, plotting, character development, scene development, action and emotional arc development, as well has how to pitch your work to agents, editors, and readers.


  1. I've been researching social media and the like lately, and I'm constantly dazzled by the amount of innovative thinking blossoming as of late. Publishing has been fairly stoic in the past, but now, authors, publishers, and marketers are continually trying to change things up. This idea has me all kinds of excited. Thanks for sharing! Will be checking in for more.


  2. Jill. Great post about a really cool revamping of an old concept. Thanks for sharing it. But, for me the real 'almost drop my coffee' moment comes from something else.

    When I first started looking for representation for Tearing the Shroud, I was chatting with a close friend about it because I knew his daughter had recently landed a book deal. I'd met her several times at social gatherings and he suggested I call her. I'm sure you see where this is going...Erin gave me some wonderful advice and encouragement.

    I've been following you as I LOVE your sage advice and interesting articles. Now, the connection has come full circle! It goes to show how small the writing community can be.(You don't rep NA, or I would have been knocking on your door. Though I do have this picture book...hmmm. *raises an eyebrow*)

    Keep up the great work!


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