Welcome to Plympton!
Plympton has officially launched with its first three serialized novels. Each is a compulsively readable, genre-bending good time. We hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we do.
But more than that, we hope you’ll find yourself excited about the revival of this delightful and sensible medium for fiction. In the 19th century, few books were published without first being serialized in newspapers or magazines. Serialization was a great way to test-run a story’s viability and to build an audience. It provided writers with a means to earn a living on an ongoing basis, and readers with an intimate and immersive relationship to the stories they read. Readers lived inside these stories day by day, wondering and speculating between installments, growing with characters over the course of months or even year.
But don’t take our word for it. Take the word of dismayed clergyman Thomas Arnold who in 1839 decried the runaway popularity of the ungodly serials this way: “The works of amusement published only a very few years since . . . not being published periodically, did not occupy the mind for so long a time, nor keep alive so constant an expectation; nor, by thus dwelling upon the mind, and distilling themselves into it, as it were drop by drop, did they possess it so largely.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Digital readers offer a unique opportunity for the revival of this devilishly addictive medium. And the changing market for fiction grants some urgency to the effort. The major publishing houses are continually cutting their fiction lists and most magazines have stopped publishing fiction altogether. Online self-publishing offers an alternative, but without the support — editorial, financial, and more — that writers need if they are to take the risks that literature requires of them.
We believe the time is right for a third layer in the publishing world, a nimble alternative to the major publishers and the online markets. And we believe that serialized fiction, with its competitive digital price-point, its capacity for generating audience, and its built-in emphasis on strong storytelling, is the perfect medium for creating this third layer.