What 'The Italian Lesson' and True Crime Podcasts Can Teach Us About Serializing
I’m beyond excited about The Italian Lesson, the romance novel currently serializing on Substack. If you haven’t heard about it yet, it’s by E. Jean Carroll (of the brilliant Substack advice column Ask E. Jean) and Mary Trump (yes, Donald’s niece and the author of the excellent Too Much and Never Enough) and edited by Jennifer Taub (the esteemed law professor and author of Big Dirty Money).
The best summary I’ve seen comes from the authors/editor themselves, who describe it as a “politics-free zone”—
“a strange and luscious, mysterious and very romantic story. And YES, there is knitting, Italian wine, house cows named Bella, lots of fashion, chickens, a very bad man, and a cinnamon roll hero.”
They’ve gotten great press coverage in The New York Times and on NPR and are doing fantastically well with Substack readers.
So to say that people aren’t interested in serialized novels simply isn’t the case; they are—obviously. It’s just that no one has serialized as well as these three authors ha…