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The FAQ's

How large is the Breakfast Serials audience?

Breakfast Serials’ distinctive audience emerges from the large distributed efforts of more than 699 newspapers nationwide. Since 1996 we’ve grown by over 900%, proving Breakfast Serials’ value to newspaper subscribers.

How does the Breakfast Serials audience compare with online audiences?

Since 1996, Breakfast Serials has moved 24 original serials into the daily lives of 33 million people (measured as paid circulation) and penetrated 52% of all U.S. counties.

In comparison, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks sales from major booksellers, only 2 percent of the 1.2 million unique book titles sold in 2004 had sales of more than 5,000 copies.

Why does the Breakfast Serials brand of serial appear in newspapers?

Newspapers offer an effective and rapid way to build audiences. The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) reports that on a typical weekday 52% of adults read a newspaper. Those same adults, on average, spend 26 minutes reading 58% of the newspaper.

How does the Breakfast Serials audience compare with book audiences?

Last year (fiscal 2004-2005), Breakfast Serials moved 17 original serials into the daily lives of 35 million people (measured as paid circulation) and penetrated 52% of all U.S. counties. In comparison, according to Nielsen Bookscan, which tracks sales from major booksellers, only 2 percent of the 1.2 million unique book titles sold in 2004 had sales of more than 5,000 copies.

Who was the first modern pop star?

Modern popular culture was born from the Victorian serial, making Charles Dickens the first modern pop star.

“Until Dickens’s readings, no author had ever appeared on a public stage for profit. The notion of a public appearance as a marketing strategy was completely unknown at the time—the age of public relations was still in its infancy. One might say that Dickens’s readings constituted the first author’s book tour. (Other writers such as Mark Twain and Thackeray were quick to follow his example.) After one of his first appearances, the London Illustrated News announced, ‘Mr Dickens has invented a new medium for amusing an English audience, and merits the gratitude of an intelligent public.’ They were his most lucrative venture, netting him about 45,000 pounds, more than all his books combined and made him the richest, most famous author in the world.” –The Friendly Dickens

Breakfast Serials creates popular literature for intergenerational audiences. How is this done?

Literature makes us feel. Everyone would agree that children and adults experience emotions. All of us are capable of being happy, sad, jealous, or excited. Yet children and adults come to these emotions differently. Children have fewer experiences to draw from.

To write for children, an author must demonstrate experiences for the young reader to react to. Since their experiences are limited, everything must be laid out. On the other hand, adults are able to respond to a mere suggestion of something. For example, Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz is a fantasy adventure, but it is also about wanting something that you already have. The Lion wants courage, the Tin man a heart, the Scarecrow a brain. The story demonstrates these ideas to the young reader, maybe for the first time. In contrast, the adult reader immediately recognizes the fact that the Tin Man is full of emotion and that his desire for a heart is ironic. Consequently, because of its duality, this piece of writing engages both readers.

Is serialization a new reading technology?

Historically, the novel has been serialized in two forms: in installments in newspapers or magazines, and as a discrete entity—once referred to as “part issue” or “publication in numbers”. It was Dickens’ original publication of the Pickwick Papers in “parts issue” that established the popularity of original serial fiction in 1836. Before the appearance of Pickwick, publishers commonly re-issued novels for newspaper and magazine publication.

eighteenth century

early 1700’s Publishers such as Richard Bentley reissued “novels in numbers”

1729 Daniel Defoe’s Religious Courtship, a book published in 1722 in London, was reprinted in serial form in the daily newspaper, Pennsylvania Gazette.

nineteenth century

1836 – 1837 Charles Dickens, Pickwick Papers, nineteen monthly installments

1838 – 1839 Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby, nineteen monthly installments

1840 – 1841 Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop in Master Humphrey’s Clock, forty weekly installments

1849 – 1850 Charles Dickens, David Copperfield, nineteen monthly installments

1851 – 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

1857 – 1857 Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

1859 – 1854 Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities in All the Year Round, thirty-one weekly installments

1860 – 1860 Charles Dickens, Great Expectations in All the Year Round, thirty-six weekly installments

1875 – 1877 Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

1880 – 1881 Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

1880’s Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

twentieth century

1934 F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night

1970’s Armistead Maupin, Tales of the City serialized in the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner

1984 – 1985 Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities serialized for Rolling Stone

1996 Stephen King, The Green Mile, a six “parts issue” novel (paperback)

1996 Breakfast Serials, Keep Your Eye on Amanda! serialized in 55 newspapers

twenty-first century

2000 Stephen King, online “parts issue” of The Plant

Today Breakfast Serials serializes more than 20 original works of literature in over 700 newspapers worldwide.

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