My main project is an ongoing narrative 61/100+ chapters that is best described as a cdrama. It’s historical, adventure, mystery, and a bit of blood because I gave them swords, and well… blood happens.
From my experience, readers are cautious to pick up stories like mine because they don’t want to be left with a cliffhanger or unfinished narrative. This leaves me wondering how I can gain more followers and trust?
For those of you who are writing a serial, have you experienced this in your readership? Or even if you’ve fallen in love with a serial or series. Does it make you cautious to commit when it’s not complete?
Perhaps releasing a few short stories or completed stories in the same genre may help bridge that trust of completion. Or maybe even taking my novel of 100+ chapters and actually turning it into a series of books instead. However, going that route feels more traditional and is not a new-age way to look at publications.
My experience is trust has to be earned, so you just need to start posting. I have read more than a few serialized stories in my time that were promised to be, for example, 60 chapters, but then got to chapter 42 and then just never updated. Wattpad is littered with stories like that. It’s just as true for book series where the third or forth novel just never gets published.
In short, either readers will be willing to take a chance (and many do), or they won’t.
If you do have completed stories, even if they are shorter, that would be a good way to start building trust. Another is to have a strict posting schedule so that people can see you are committed to the story.
There will always be people who simply don’t want to risk a WIP, though, and for those readers you could make a tier that includes a discount on the (eventually) published books, since that’s what they are waiting for. Over time, hopefully they will realize that reading your in-progress stories is a safe bet.