Poets & Writers

Serial Fiction for the Digital Age

For many readers andwriters, the serial novel calls to mind tattered newsprint, Victorian armchairs, and authors such as Dickens, Dumas, and Dostoevsky. For others, the form may hark back to pulp magazines and popular adventures of the early to mid-1900s. But for Seung-yoon Lee, the cofounder and CEO of Radish, a serial-reading mobile app, consuming books in morsels is no longer a thing of the past—it’s the next big thing in digital publishing.

Launched in Los Angeles in February 2016 by Lee and engineer Joy Cho, might recognize this “freemium” model: Only the impatient must pay. Authors can choose, however, to make the later chapters of their titles only available to paying readers. Many also write side plots or additional backstory as extras for fans that are only available for an additional cost.

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