Selling a ebook of a web serial

5 years ago | shadowphoenixpt (Member)


So, I'm planing a web serial that will be posted on a dedicated blog, at Wattpad, Royal Road and in a bunch of other places (btw, do you think this kind of cross posting is wise?). Since I have some other ebooks out there, I'm planing of publishing an ebook of this serial when it reaches the end. I don't want the ebook to be free, because I'm thinking of giving the final ebook as one of the reward levels at Patreon.

I know it's usual for a published ebook of a web serial to be a polished and edited version of the free web content, but this won't work for me because I want the web serial itself to already be an edited. There are two reasons for this: a) I want the web serial to be as polished as possible to attract readers and get patron at Patreon (and also help promote my other ebook stuff) b) Like I do with all my books, my web serial will be published in three languages, in two of which I'm fluent but which are not my native tong, so they need editing (as you can probably notice by my english in this post).

In the end, the question is: should I sell an ebook version of something that is free in a bunch of places? At what price? Should I add extra content to justify that price? Any ideas of what kind of content?

In a different matter, do you think that a web serial with a monthly or even inconsistent schedule can garner some measure of success?

Give me your take on this, it will be appreciated.

Thank you.

Read responses...


  1. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    I'm confused. You don't want the ebooks to be edited because the web serial should be edited first? But... why not get the web serial edited, and then publish the ebooks of the edited version?

    After reading the above post I'm assuming English isn't your native language. You'll want to get help from an editor who is a native English speaker, and you'll want your entire serial to be copied and pasted into word documents. Pretty much every editor I ever talked to works with Word. Copy pasting an entire web serial can be a challenge - I had to do it once and it took a lot of time, especially since Wordpress acts up sometimes.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  2. shadowphoenixpt (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    Yes, I do want my serial and the subsequent ebook edite exactly by the reason you mention. My problem is, should I sell the ebook with just the content of the serial (even though this content will be available free on blog, wattpad, whatever), should the ebook be free or should I add something to the ebook just to justify the price tag?

  3. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    Well... the editor is going to cost money, so there's your justification for the price tag. :D

    Web serial and ebook readers don't overlap much. 99% of ebook readers don't know web serials exist, but some serial readers might buy the books. So I don't think a free serial is going to hurt book sales. I certainly didn't hurt mine.

    Something to consider: does your serial have a lot of readers? Because if not, the cost of editing probably isn't worth it, except maybe in your native language. An editor who fixes non-native English is either going to do a shoddy job (unfortunately, there are many bad 'editors' out there) or charge a LOT. Think several thousand.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world.
  4. Alexander.Hollins (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    What Chrysalis said is, sadly, my experience as well. (Part of the reason I wanted to get the worldbuidling anthology off the ground. I'm hoping to slide it into a monthly magazine of serials, as well as future anthologies.)

    Everyone I've talked to that has done both has told me that a small fraction of their serial readers will pick up the book to support them, but then never read it, and most of the book buyers will never check the serial.

    Hell, Drew Hayes, on his facebook page, REGULARLY gets people who have only read the ebooks asking when they should expect year four. Which is still serializing, and in the serial, is about 3/4 of the way through the school year. They have no idea the serial exists, and in several cases, when directed to the serial, have said, enh, i'll wait.

  5. Blaise Corvin (Member)

    Posted 5 years ago

    I'm a serial writer and I've had some pretty successful book launches.

    I have to echo what's already been said. Your serial fans can be awesome. My readers buy my stuff, and they are quick to support me financially, but they really prefer (most of them) to read the serial.

    My readers who buy my books, most of them don't read serials for whatever reason.

    There isn't a lot of crossover.

    Then you have audio listeners and there is even less crossover there.

    Writing at a professional level is expensive. I expected a loss my first year and I am a business major with a marketing plan. Most indie writers might make $100 over the entire life of their book. Keep in mind that Amazon won't even give you a check unless you make $100 in a region.

    Like everything else, writing is a lot of hard work. Being an indie writer is like running your own business.

    Visit my site, I have punch and pie.
    I also have two stories: Delvers LLC and The Crimson Artifice. :)


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