Stay Tuned for E-Serials

A VICTORIAN-ERA TRADITION GETS A TV-AGE REVIVAL

The serial Novel--fiction delivered in installments instead of a single volume--harks back to Charles Dickens, who popularized the format in 1836 with The Pickwick Papers. The tradition survives today as the e-serial: a story broken into episodes, downloaded to a digital reader and retailed for usually about $2 per hit. But if you ask e-serial publishers to describe the lure of the format, chances are they'll invoke the likes of Walter White or Tyrion Lannister over Samuel Pickwick.

Byliner, a prestigious source of short-format e-books, is publishing Margaret Atwood's dystopian Positron under its Byliner Serials imprint; editor in chief Mark Bryant...

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