Our 2013 Season and the Free Book Experiment

Hey there, fellow Goner,

Available Darkness Season TwoWe’re thrilled to announce to launch our 2013 Collective Inkwell season of weekly serials today with Available Darkness: Season Two.

In 2012, we wanted Collective Inkwell to do what no one else had done — to transport the scripted serial model we loved so much from TV over to the world of digital reading. This meant not only following the signposts of plot, character, suspense and — of course — cliffhangers, it meant sticking to an ambitious weekly release schedule. Like HBO, AMC, Showtime, or any other quality network, Collective Inkwell had a fresh “episode” each week, and when one “show” ended its season, we had another ready to go.

Last year we published two seasons of Yesterday’s Gone, Available Darkness, ForNevermore, WhiteSpace, Z 2134, and Monstrous — plus seven Dark Crossings short stories with killer endings.


Collective Inkwell is back for our 2013 season, and this year we’re promising readers an even bigger and better year, starting today!

Our prior serialized schedule followed the old TV model with the release of six episodes and then, on the seventh week, the season compilation. However, this forced people who wanted the full season to wait to read it.


Now we’re ignoring where TV is, and paying attention to where it’s going.

One of serialized drama’s great strengths in the age of video on demand, is bulk season viewing of shows. While some people (like Dave) love the weekly wait and slow torture of killer cliffhangers, others (like Sean) love to plow through a season all at once.

So why not give you BOTH options?

For our 2013 season, Collective Inkwell will offer our indie series (everything but Z 2134 and Monstrous) two ways — weekly or all-at-once.

Fans of weekly installments will still have the option to read as they wish. We’ll be releasing all six episodes of each series in weekly format with our famous brand of WTF cliffhangers! 

But …

… You’ll also have the option of buying the full season immediately!


We’re also trying something new.

We will be giving each episode away FREE for five days during the week it goes live. Readers taking the weekly ride with us can do so for free.

Every Thursday through Monday during our indie seasons, we’ll have a new episode available for free.

We hope to draw new readers into our stories by offering a sample. We figure if we do our job well enough, you won’t be able to wait until the following week and will want to buy the full season right away.
But we’re cool if you just want a free read, too.

Now we call this a free “experiment” because we can only guess at the results. If suddenly nobody is buying our books, and just waiting for the free ones, well, it’ll turn into an experiment in poverty, and we’ll need to end it. To keep writing for you, we must be able to put bread on our table and take care of our the bills.

We look forward to this experiment, and more importantly, to the 2013 Collective Inkwell season with new episodes of Available Darkness, WhiteSpace, ForNevermore, Yesterday’s Gone, Z 2134, Monstrous, and Dark Crossings!

We’re really looking forward to giving you a GREAT year of reading you won’t find anywhere else. Beyond the FREE episodes each week, we’ll be giving our special group of “Goners” extra goodies throughout the year.

If you’re not already a Goner, and don’t want to miss out on any of the best stuff, join today. It is and always will be 100% free. And it’s easy. Just click on the link below.


Or wait until Thursday when it will be free through the weekend. We will not be sending a second email when it will be free, because we think it might annoy a lot of readers. So mark it on your calendar. We’ll also mention it on Facebook if you connect with us there.


US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BEPDA8E

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BEPDA8E

If you don’t want to wait, you can also buy the FULL SEASON right now.


US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BELOHIK

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BELOHIK

As always, thank you for reading,

David and Sean

Email us at: collectiveinkwellmedia@gmail.com

Visit our website: www.collectiveinkwell.com

Connect with us and other readers on Facebook: www.facebook.com/collectiveinkwellpublishing

5 responses to Our 2013 Season and the Free Book Experiment

  1. s-girl (@whirlyshirly)

    I know it’s financially risky to offer free content but wanted to offer a few suggestions that currently indie serializers employ. Many of the independents who list at WebfictionGuide.com use a donation/bonus model to help generate revenue. Consider it a “tip jar” method for offering free work.

    Second – others copy the webcomics model by offering ad space using networks like Project Wonderful. MOst indies can’t muster numbers to get into the Google AdSense program like their webcomic counterpart, but I suspect you guys might be able to start at that tier and use limited space on your blog to show partner ads.

    The final ebook form is for those who want to read ahead or who want to honor the work the authors have done in sharing their work for free. Or it’s for those who just don’t like serials :).

    If you’re ever interested in talking to the other web-serializers out there, please do stop by WFG (even if it’s to lurk our forums).

    In any case, I hope your experiment works! Been doing serials for fun (for free) for two years as a labor of love. It would be great to see you guys make author-owned websites and blogs a viable and accepted platform for publishing.

    • thedavidwwright Post Author

      Thanks for commenting. I posted this reply on your blog where you mentioned us, but will re-post it here for those who care to follow along.

      Hi, thanks for the mention.

      I actually came up through the webcomics world. I did comic strips from 1999 – 2008, was signed to KeenSpot, and have used Project Wonderful in the past. Donations and ad money were nearly non-existent even at the height of my strip’s popularity. You need A LOT of readers to make something like that work… for comics or books.

      When Sean and I met in 2008 and started serializing our first book together (Available Darkness) on the web (also in 2008) we realized rather quickly that the blog was not the place for our serial to grow. There was a lot of resistance. First, many people didn’t get the concept of a serial. Second, the biggest pushback we got was that people didn’t like to read on the computer. They wanted a traditional book.

      So, in short, we could barely give away our story for free, much less make money on it. While we could have made pocket change in ads, it would not have been worth the hours of work we sank into it.

      Then Amazon, and the Kindle, happened in a BIG way. People began to adopt the ebook as a suitable substitution for print. We finally had a chance to the serial we wanted to do for so long.

      So we started a second serial (Yesterday’s Gone) in 2011, but this time we didn’t have to find a way to bring readers to our little blog. And we didn’t have to win them over to a format — they were already reading on Kindles. We could GO WHERE THE READERS ARE. And that is the single most important thing a writer needs — a platform to sell their work.

      At the time, there weren’t too many writers on Amazon doing serials. And certainly none that I knew of who were doing it the way we were, with the episodes and episodic pricing/ season compilation model.

      At the end of 2011, we had a small, but devoted, readership who got what we were doing. But we knew the only way we could really make it work was to go full-out and write our butts off, 60-70 hours a week, no days off at all.

      In 2012, we released a new episode (between 14k and 20k words per episode), a new short story, or season compilation every single week. This led to four indie series which led to us being able to write full-time for a living. And it also led to a book deal with 47North for two more serials. I don’t say this to toot our horn, but to say that this would not have happened without Amazon (and of course a complete and utter sacrifice of our time to pursue the goal).

      We could not have done this on a blog. Perhaps there are serialized fiction blogs out there making a killing, I don’t know. I’m like a lot of our readers, I don’t like reading fiction on a pc or mac. It’s literally a pain (in the eyes) for me to do so.

      For us, though, we had to go where the readers are. And right now, that is Amazon, kobo, Apple, and B&N, and a few other places.

      Having said that, Sean and I have considered trying to sell directly on our blog. And while I think we might sell to some people that way, most will prefer to read on their device of choice. It’s hard to change someone’s reading habits. And it’s even more difficult to match the ease of buying something and painless delivery system that places like Amazon offers.

      I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve had from people trying to figure out how to open an epub or mobi file for a free short story we sent them. That is why places like Amazon do so well. It’s click, buy, and read. No hassles.

      If you ever want to talk serials, feel free to get back to me via my email. I can go on all day, as I love the format.

  2. Christine Blitzer

    I just want to tell you I am rivited by your Yesterday’s Gone series. I am on season 3 and cannot put it down!!!!!! I began with your White Noise series and can honestly say you have a sureties talent! KEEP IT COMING….I eagerly wait for the next chapters!

    • DavidWwright Post Author

      Thank you, Christine! We appreciate the kind words. WhiteSpace returns with Season Two in April. And Yesterday’s Gone will be back with Season Four this summer.

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