Thursday, December 19, 2013

Is It Worth Doing a Series?


This is one of those questions that has a different answer for each individual. For starters, there are some very popular and amazing series out there. I thought I would start with my own buying habits. I stood in front of my massive bookcase and scanned the contents. I only have all the books in 4 series and they are all paranormal related.

JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood. (I tried her angel series and couldn't get into it. Won't be following it)

Larissa Ione Demonica/Apocalypse Horsemen series (I bought the first book in her vampire series and decided I will not follow it)

Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series (Again, her other books did not spark my interest. Not a YA or NA reader anyway)

Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld (Though I seem to be losing interest. The new one is still in my TBR pile and has been for a few months) I have a few of Gena's other books, but never followed her other series.

As a romance reader and buyer I do not feel compelled to buy every book in a series. This seems to hold true with with historical romance purchases with the exception of Elizabeth Hoyt. I concede I have all her books. But she's the only one. Whoops, I also have a couple of Lisa Kleypas's historical series.(but not all her series)

So with information in mind, I turn to my own writing. All my attempts at a series soon lost my interest. As you can see some of mine only have two books. The longest is my paranormal at 4 books. I could continue, but I am hesitating. Why? There are a few reasons, but the main one is:

Sales.

Just because one book in a series sells well does not mean all the books will. This has been the case for me personally. I do know others have had different and more rewarding experiences.

Let's take my Blind Cupid Series. The Governess and the Beast sold very well and even sparked a few extra sales for the first book, but I KNEW as I was writing The Copper and The Madam (book 3) that this one would not sell as well. And it really hasn't. But I felt compelled to wrap up the story  arc and I did have fun writing it, so that's enough for me. It's the way it crumbles, cookie-wise. Time to move on.

Publishers keep telling me readers love series. I am sure they do. There are some very popular series out there. But for every great selling series, there are many more that flounder. And from a personal standpoint, it turns out I prefer writing stand-alone stories. So will I be doing series in future? I don't rule it out. I think if I do, I will write all the books in a series before sending out manuscripts. A series is a great marketing tool, but I haven't seen it turn into any advantage for me. Besides, keeping up with all the characters and plots can be weary, lol~


6 comments:

  1. I am struggling with this myself. If the sales aren't there, it's very hard to keep working on sequels! but it's just as hard to leave things hanging, isn't it? Interesting post!

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    1. It really is Kristi! That's why I finished the Blind Cupid series, I didn't want to leave things hanging. Also, I seem to have a short attention span, so stand alone stories seem the right fit for me, cheers and thanks for commenting!

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  2. I have always been a believer in... If your comfortable with it do it, if not don't... and while I have read some great series's, I have also read some awful ones. Just like TV and film they start to run out of new ideas or repeat themselves or worse come out with things that had to come from someone high at the time (Dallas - Bobby Ewing's return from death for instance) but what I find is that the book lacks something, that spark that the writer injects, that little extra that says yes, this person had fun writing this.

    Do I think you'll write a series... Yes, but when the time is write for you. When the idea comes that just flows from one idea to the next and yes, like all your books that spark will be their.
    And I'll be the first to buy them.

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    1. Iron Mum, thank you for the thoughtful reply! Considering I used to do sim stories, you think I would be used to a series. But out of the three I was doing, I only completed one. That says a lot. Any you are right, there comes a time a repetitive narrative enters into it, I have noticed that with a paranormal series I read.

      I think if a do a series, I will definitely write all the books first before I submit to a publisher, that way I know its done. Happy Holidays to you and yours and thanks so much for your support! ♥

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  3. I agree with "Iron Mum" - as a reader, I can tell when an author is getting 'bored' with a story/world. They start running out of ideas or recycle stories...and no one on their team (e.g., CP, agent, editor) is kickin' them in the pants.

    I write series, because I love the world I've built and I love my characters. My minor characters usually jump in my face and say, "hey, YOU author lady! Do I have a story for you...". I blame them. And I will keep writing their stories as long as they keep telling me about all the exciting things that happen to them. 8-D

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    1. Evelyn, it is noticeable, I've seen it too. Publishers love series because if one book does well, it will spurn sales on all the other books in the series. I agree with you about world building, I loved doing that for my paranormal series. And wow, I have had minor characters yell at me, too. I don't rule out doing more, nor do I rule out more on the paranormal series, but as I said, I think in future I will wait until I write all the books in a series before submitting. That way I will be sure I actually finish the thing! Cheers and happy holidays to you! ♥

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