Written by Michael Rohde Thursday, 10 May 2012 09:12
Over the past couple of years, and this should come as no surprise to anyone, books have skyrocketed in popularity. This sudden rise in popularity is no doubt due to the iPad, tablets and eReaders. People who enjoy reading books are realizing the convenience of a portable eReader as compared to lugging around large, bulky paperbacks and hardcover books. And it’s not just books that are becoming more popular. Novellas and serial fiction are also on the rise in popularity.
Not everyone has the time or the patience to read a several hundred page book. Many people are looking for shorter, hit-and-run style stories, that they can read in a quick amount of time. Readers, just like everyone else, are short on time. Having 45 minutes to spend leisurely reading a book every day is a luxury not everyone can afford. However, people still want to read, and having access to books written in bite-sized chunks would make many readers very happy.
Yesterday's Gone, written by Sean Platt and David Wright, is a perfect example of serial fiction done right for eReaders -- in particular -- the Amazon Kindle. Sean and David promote each book as episodes, as if you were watching Lost, The Walking Dead or other similar shows. The first two seasons of Yesterday’s Gone is already available. So, if you want to start reading the series, there is plenty of content available to you. Let me break it down as to why you might want to start reading Yesterday’s Gone.
There are several reasons why you might want to read Yesterday’s Gone. The first is the topic. Shows like the previously mentioned Lost and The Walking Dead are extremely popular and Yesterday’s Gone follows in those footsteps. The authors have created several characters who tell their stories through their own voice as they wake up one morning to what appears to be some kind of apocalyptic event. The characters are very diverse in sex, age, background, occupation and so on and are located in different parts of the United States.
The second reason you might like Yesterday’s Gone is the length. I read Yesterday's Gone: Episode 1 in about three, half hour sittings. If you’re a fast to medium reader, you can probably read the entire first episode in about two hours. The first episode accounts for about 20% of the entire first season. Compare that reading time to a full-length novel. It took me about a month to read Stephen King’s book, 11/22/63, which is about a man going back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination. That’s probably not a fair comparison, considering 11/22/63 is a mammoth book, but it is fair to say that it takes me about two to three weeks to read most novels. Those novels are usually filled with extra text that is unnecessary to the plot. Who needs three paragraphs of descriptive text on a tertiary character with almost no relevance to the main plot? Stuff like that is a pet peeve of mine as it seems to me that it’s only there to reach a certain word count required by the publishers. Yesteday’s Gone does not suffer from that malady. The action is tight and the story moves along at a very nice pace.
The third reason you might like Yesterday’s Gone is the price. As of right now, you can get episode one and two for free through Amazon. If you’re a Prime member, you can also get episodes eleven and twelve for free as well. If you want to buy in bulk you can buy season one, which consists of the first six episodes, for $4.99. Yesterdays Gone: Season Two, which consists of episodes seven through twelve is also $4.99. If you want to buy one episode at a time, that will run you 99 cents up to $2.99, depending on the episode and when you shop. Prices on Amazon tend to fluctuate. No matter how you slice it, you’re getting a lot for very little.
The fourth reason you might like Yesterday’s Gone is because it’s good. The characters are deep, the action is intense and the mystery is, well, it’s mysterious. Each episode ends in a cliffhanger that makes you yearn for more. It’s the type of book that you won’t want to put down.
Serial fiction is coming back to the mainstream and Yesterday’s Gone is a great way to break you into the medium. If you own a Kindle, have limited time, but love great stories, I encourage you to check it out.
One last note, if you don’t mind me promoting my own writing, I’m about to publish a novelette through Amazon called Chilean Jungle. While it’s not serial fiction, it is a short, punchy read full of action and intrigue. It would probably earn an M for maturity rating due to sexual situations and bloody violence. Stay tuned for more information.