You'll probably recognise some of the authors who had their novels published serially: Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, Robert Louis Stevenson... and more. Ever since Honore de Balzac's The Old Maid, the very first serial novel was published in 1836, the way we see fiction has never been the same.
Although serialisation isn't new; it's been around almost as long as the novel itself, the truth is that it isn't something that authors have practised until recently. With all the changes in how we read books that have happened in recent years; the introduction of the E-book being only one of those changes, it's fair to say that writers are open to all options. The traditional publishing houses way of doing things isn't the only way any more. Indie authors have KDP, Smashwords, Nook... authors have more control than ever before.
One of the reasons that serials seem to be on the rise is the simple fact that it means having more books on your dashboard... the more books you have for sale, the more space you take up on amazon and other retailers' the more chance you have of being found. It has the potential to help connect authors with readers, just like it did back in the day.
Another reason that it's worth considering is the price. People are unwilling to spend huge amounts of money when they can get things on the cheap. In an age when people watch pirated movies and pay only £10 a month to listen to as much music as they want to on Spotify or watch as many movies as they want on netflix, people have the same attitude towards their books - they don't want to pay a fiver for a paperback. They want to pay 99p or even better they'd like to read it for free on Kindle Unlimited... I personally love giving books away. For me this isn't about making money - it's about getting people to read my books, it's about sharing my thoughts and ideas. If you are publishing your books serially, you can charge less for them. It works pretty well.
We absorb everything else serially; whether it's our favourite TV show; Grey's Anatomy or Game of Thrones or the blogs and vlogs we follow. The suspense between shows and the expectation of the next part of the series. We often read series of novels; Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Divergent... so why not read a serial novel? Series inspire devotion; it makes you want to read the next part and the part after that and the part after that.
Another good reason to serialise your novel is to build momentum. Momentum is pretty much key to any author's success but the best bit about serials is the way it pushes the author to be disciplined enough to get all the sections out with plenty of time. The other thing to consider with time, is our readers lack of time. Take myself as an example. I work full time, I spend time with friends and family, I write and I read every day. There just isn't enough time. Serials make it possible for you to stop and take a moment between reads.
So the only question left to ask... what about romance? I personally love Deborah Bladon's work. She writes her books in three or four part series. She's perhaps my favourite author and part of what I love is just how quickly I can read her work. My own books are written in three part series so that I can get them out to readers as quick as possible. Indie Romance is a massive genre at the moment and so getting noticed can be a bit of a challenge. Serial novels might just be the way to get the recognition you deserve.