Indie authors are disrupting e-book publishing by writing episodic fiction. They are primarily distributing the titles through Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle lending library. This is providing a financial boon to authors who write 60 page novels in a serialized manner. This method of writing is quickly becoming more profitable than simply writing a single feature length novel.
Serialized fiction first gained prominence in Victorian England and it first appeared in newspapers. It was practiced by such literary giants as Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy and Joseph Conrad. It fell out of favor in the last fifty years, but is now making a rebound, thanks to Amazon.
Things have been fairly static in self-publishing and traditional publishing for decades. An author writes a book and has it distributed through specific sales channels. They promote a single title and get paid when readers purchase it. Now we have Amazon picking up the tab when a book is read and the reader pays virtually nothing.
The Kindle Lending Library was first established in 2011 and allows members who opt into Amazon Prime to read one free book a month. This has proven to be a lucrative method for indie authors to garner sales. Kindle Unlimited is a similar program, but instead of a Prime membership, users pay around $10.00 a month and read as many e-books they want.