Charles Dickens and other Victorian authors were quite used to the idea of serialising their books. In fact, it’s said they’d be waiting on the pier in New York for new chapters by Dickens to arrive from London on a monthly basis and most of his novels were published in 20 separate chapters sold for a shilling each. Today, we’re more used to consuming books in novel format, but with the JukePop Serials website, along with its iOS and Android apps, perhaps serialised crime fiction is making a comeback.
You can try titles like Noir Blood by Hector Acosta, The Case of the Syphilitic Sister by James Hutchings or No Crime in Pleasure by J Spinazzola. However, the best-liked crime offerings so far are Bedouin City by John Wesley Cage, and The Art of Disposal by John Prindle.
In fact, the site offers fiction across the genres, with about 30 crime stories on the go at the moment. You don’t need a shilling here – chapters are free and the authors are expected to upload a new one every month in order to get paid. If you’ve registered and put a particular ‘book’ on your ‘shelf’ you’ll receive an email notifying you whenever a new instalment has arrived. Or, you could download the JukePop app to your iPhone or Android device, in which case you’ll get a little bleep and a notification whenever a chapter has arrived for a book you’ve shelved.
The makers of the site are still testing out their publishing formula, but are sending payments to the 30 authors with the most votes. To keep your favourite JukePop writers in bread, you need to make sure you give them a vote when you’ve finished reading their latest chapters.
John Prindle’s The Art of Disposal has been in the top 30 since he started posting chapters, and has nearly 300 votes with 18 chapters available to read. “It’s the story of a reluctant contract killer who is also a tropical fish enthusiast,” he explains. “Not your standard mafia tale, my main character is intelligent and fairly sensitive… lots of dark humour too.”