Any work that runs at more than one volume or installment. Usually, these works tend to be much longer than your average book, but there are exceptions. The work itself can be considered one large story broken into parts or several smaller stories with recurring themes and characters.

The reasons for breaking a story up into parts can vary. Some books, like ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', were considered too long by the publisher, making this an example of ExecutiveMeddling. Other times, this is simply a demand of the medium or genre that the author works in. For example, the novels of Creator/CharlesDickens were all serialized in fiction magazines due to the prohibitive cost of book printing. In both of these cases, the stories are considered one large work and are often combined in one volume for sale later. See also: SerialNovel, DividedForPublication.

Other times, the works are meant to be individual stories that stand on their own. This can be the intention of the author from the start. Other times, such as with an unexpected CashCowFranchise, one book that was meant to be self contained becomes outrageously popular, prompting sequels.

This is a {{literature}} trope and an example of ProseFiction.
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!!Examples:

* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' as mentioned above.
* The work of Creator/CharlesDickens were sold this way. Examples include:
** ''Literature/OliverTwist''
** ''Literature/GreatExpectations''
** ''Literature/DavidCopperfield''
* ''Literature/HarryPotter''
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''
* Creator/Marcel Proust's masterpiece''In Search of Lost Time'', the longest novel ever, was released in seven volumes between 1913 and 1927.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' was originally two books published a decade apart. Today they are usually printed together as one volume.
* Stephen King's ''TheGreenMile'' was originally one of these, spanning six volumes.
** His ''[[Franchise/TheDarkTower Dark Tower]]'' series might also qualify.
* ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' was originally published as two separate books: ''Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'' and ''Through the Looking-Glass''.
* ''Literature/WarriorCats''
* Compulsive writer Creator/IsaacAsimov achieved this with his ''autobiography''. His publisher reformatted the manuscript into two volumes without batting an eyelid (not surprising, considering how much they had already made on his countless other books).
* The {{Thursday Next}} series by Jasper Fforde. Seven books and counting.
* The Spanish release of {{Doorstopper}} ''{{Cryptonomicon}}'' was split into three volumes titled after the three encryption algorithms covered in the series: ''El Código Enigma'', ''El Código Pontifex'' and ''El Código Aretusa''.
* The Mardrus & Mathers translation of ''[[Literature/ArabianNights The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night]]'' was published in four volumes, totaling [[{{Doorstopper}} over 2300 pages]].
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