My first ambition was to be an astronaut. My dream was to make first contact with aliens who could take me on a private tour of the galaxy. I would check out the window every night to see if a UFO had landed in my back yard. (Surely, they could sense that I was waiting for them. . . ! ) For various reasons, it never did, and I didn’t get a chance to go looking for them, but that has now changed.
You might know that most of Charles Dickens’ novels were published in monthly or weekly installments. He pioneered the serial format of narrative fiction, which became the dominant mode during the Victorian period for novel publication and still exists in some magazine formats.
The advent of print-on-demand technology in the 1960s turned the publishing industry on its head. It spawned the giant, Amazon, but it also wrested the ability to publish out of the hands of a few big publishing companies and into the hands of indie (independent) presses or even the authors themselves. This has had positive and negative side effects (a story for another day).
A couple of weeks ago, Amazon launched a new platform using serialization called “Kindle Vella.” The author can publish an episode (chapter) at a time and leave comments for the reader. Readers can give a heads up for the chapters they like. In that sense, technology is bringing the readers and authors closer together.
Also, it puts more power in the readers’ hands. Instead of taking a chance on an entire book that you might end up hating or bored with, you can read at least three episodes for free. (As a special, Amazon is now giving you 200 free tokens, which means you can really read about 15 chapters free.) Then you purchase tokens (at a reasonable price; the total book is about what a new release e-book would be) to “spend” on chapter-episodes of books that you really like. You start at Amazon.com and can read it there or (after you read your first episodes and purchase tokens) it will also be available to download onto Apple devices (Kindle Reader app or Kindle device) or you can keep reading right on Amazon.com.
Back to meeting aliens and venturing into a new space . . . literally.
Motes (short for Mozart) is an extraordinary young girl born on Mars. When a boy is found dead in her dorm room, the private Martian school for gifted students expels her. Motes has nowhere to go besides the remote planet of Veld where her estranged father is studying mmerl, the native sentient species, some of whom are mysteriously disappearing.
This is a story close to my heart. I rewrote it during the Covid pandemic, and I’m really excited to be able to share it directly with readers this way!
You can check out SNOWDANCERS (the entire novel is uploaded) at “Kindle Vella” on Amazon.com at https://www.amazon.com/kindle-vella/story/B096R3YF29
T.K. is a retired police captain who writes Books, which, like this blog, go wherever her interest and imagination take her. More at TKThorne.com