Serial (literature)

Advertisement for Charles DickensGreat Expectations, serialized weekly in the literary magazine All the Year Round from December 1860 to August 1861

In literature, a serial is a printing format by which a single larger work, often a work of narrative fiction, is published in smaller, sequential installments. The installments are also known as numbers, parts or fascicles, and may be released either as separate publications or within sequential issues of a periodical publication, such as a magazine or newspaper.[1]

Serialization can also begin with a single short story that is subsequently turned into a series. Historically, such series have been published in periodicals. Popular short stories series are often published together in book form as collections.

Early history

The growth of moveable type in the 17th century prompted episodic and often disconnected narratives such as L'Astrée and Le Grand Cyrus. At that time, books remained a premium item, so to reduce the price and expand the market, publishers produced large works in lower-cost installments called fascicles.[2] These had the added attraction of allowing a publisher to gauge the popularity of a work without incurring the expense of a substantial print run of bound volumes: if the work was not a success, no bound volumes needed to be prepared. If, on the other hand, the serialized book sold well, it was a good bet that bound volumes would sell well, too.

Other Languages
français: Roman-feuilleton
한국어: 연재소설
日本語: 連載小説
română: Roman-foileton
slovenščina: Feljtonski roman
svenska: Följetong
தமிழ்: தொடர்கதை
ייִדיש: פארזעצונג
中文: 连载小说