The first serial I wrote was Keep Your Eye on Amanda. Chapter 1 appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph on October 3, 1996. Readers loved it. Authors found new readers. (I recall riding a NY subway, watching an old man read a chapter of The Secret School in the NY Post.) Other newspapers joined in. Readers clamored for it. Teachers used it in classes, grandparents shared it with distant grandchildren.
Though I remained the nominal head of the company, Linda Wright took it over, transforming it into a unique publishing venture. The name Breakfast Serials was introduced. Other authors joined in. Katherine Paterson. Linda Sue Park. Joseph Bruchac, among others. Illustrators Brian Floca, Emily Arnold McCully, Timothy Bush.
Under Ms. Wright, the growth of Breakfast Serials was extraordinary, eventually reaching a circulation figure of thirty-three million! It probably became—in terms of readers—the biggest publisher in the world. All, as it were, beneath the radar. But just as Breakfast Serials expanded around the world, the US press—under the internet onslaught—virtually tanked. What to do?
Ms. Wright regrouped and has now invented a way to make serialization available online, as Instant Serials. Here, terrific stories and great art are available in serialized form, along with a means of chatting (online, with no smack talk) about the stories. The reader (parent, grandparent, and teacher) sets the release dates of successive chapters. Which means readers will still have to laugh, cry, and wait … a little. Quite amazing.