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Updated: Jul 14, 2021

So you might have noticed that episode 6 didn’t come out last week.

It was pretty much ready to go, but after releasing the first book in its entirety I came to a decision: I’m not going to release any new episodes in the immediate future.

Don’t worry, I'm still working on the story: Book 2 will release 3 months from now as planned, I’ll just be focussing on editing the book as a whole rather than an episode at a time.

To explain why I came to this decision, I want to start by talking about why I decided to do episodes in the first place:

LIMBUS episode 6 unfinished cover
Unfinished unused cover for episode 6

When I first came up with the idea for this story, it was supposed to be a single book. Unfortunately early on in the writing process, I realised that it was too long. There were two natural breaking points, so it became a trilogy instead.

The way I write I often visualise a scene in my head, and then transpose what I see into words. Because of this, and how I'd outlined the story, the end product became quite episodic in nature. So, as a fun experiment, I thought I could serialise LIMBUS like how there are individual issues of comics (that are later collected into volumes), episodes of a tv series (collected into seasons), even Charles Dickens did it way back when. My hopes for serialisation would be to build a readership through the regular reminders of new episodes, as well as forcing myself to keep working on it.

Book 1 was completely finished when I started releasing episodes. In the two weeks between each release all I was doing was grammar checking each episode and creating it’s cover.

However, these covers ended up being a lot more time consuming than I predicted, because while it’s easy to have ideas for covers, it’s hard to realise them into something semi-professional when you're not a graphic designer.

This brings me to book 2.

While it is also complete, it isn’t as set in stone. Some episodes may require more editing than just grammar checks and simple cuts/ rewording. This makes me worry of a scenario where I later realise I need to change something in an episode I’ve already released. Add to this the time to create 5 additional covers and suddenly writing book 3 is on the backburner, which then may result in its delay.

If the episodes were super popular, I would have continued regardless, however their format also come with some drawbacks:

Serialisation with popular tv is successful because audiences can discuss individual episodes after they air. However, this only really applies if the show is already successful, it doesn’t necessarily help make a show successful (Netflix has proven this).

But books are also a very different media. They are more personal, you read them in your own time, at your own pace. Readers generally prefer a complete experience, I know many people don’t buy a fantasy book until they know the series is finished.

I considered how I often read: intermittently at the start of a book before binging the latter half when I really get into it. It’s nice to know that you are in control of how much you want to read and when, with a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion awaiting you at the back. The problem with episodes is they assign how much you are allowed to read, and this means the story might cut just as you were getting into it. Then the wait between episodes can disrupt your flow, you might forget what happened previously, or you might just lose investment entirely.

Book 2 is also quite different from the first book. Book 1 has a pretty consistent intensity and pace, while book 2 is more like a wave, with slower sections building to high stakes moments then back again, the wave occasionally crashing to cause a rapid intensity spike. This sort of pacing doesn’t lend itself as well to the episodic format. Also, to keep the reader coming back you want to end each episode with a cliff-hanger, and not all of the book 2 episodes have that. Nothing annoys me more than the over-use of artificial cliff-hangers, so I’m not going to force them for the sake of it.

Having said all of this, I might eventually release the book in episodes. Creating the covers has been fun and now that I’ve started it would be nice to have a complete collection. But I’m going to prioritise writing and editing the books first so I don’t have to compromise the end product.

In the mean time, I hope to do a blog post roughly once a week, I have plenty of fun ideas planned!

Of course, if anything else changes I will keep you all updated!


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