For many new authors, when you first decide to sit down and write your book, the idea of finishing just one can seem daunting, let alone an entire series! However, writing a book series has many advantages, and so it is worth examining your idea before you start and considering whether you could create more than one book from it.
Many stories lend themselves well to becoming a series. Detective fiction, for example, is a genre where many authors choose to write a series of books with their main character, the detective solving different murders, crimes and mysteries in each. Fantasy, sci-fi and epic adventure novels naturally also work well. But there is no reason why any book couldn’t be turned into a series, and doing so can be a smart decision when it comes to marketing your work.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of writing a book series:
You've already got your idea
One of the most distinct advantages of writing a book series is that you already have your idea. If you can make two, three, or even four books out of your story idea rather than one then you have material to keep you going for years. It is a frightening thought for any writer that they might run out of steam, that they might not be able to think of another story to write - a book series helps a writer feel confident that they have enough material to produce several books and make a name for themselves as an author. It also means you are likely to write your books faster as well, as the characters and their world are already established.
More book sales
The more books you have, the more book sales you are likely to make. It’s also likely that if a reader likes your work, they are going to buy all of the books in your series. Therefore you make more money and your popularity as an author increases - it’s as simple as that.
The more books you have, the more established you are
The more books you write, the more authority you will have as an author. If readers can see you have written several books, they are going to see you as having more credibility, as being more established. Trust plays a significant factor in whether a reader will buy your book, and the more you have written, the more trustworthy you appear.
Publishers make more money
A book series is also a more attractive proposition to publishers and agents. So if you are trying to go down that route pitching your book as a series can help. If they like what they read and know there is the promise of more books in a similar vein coming their way, they may be more willing to take a risk on your book, as if it does well the other books in the series should do well too.
Many readers search for their favourite authors rather than simply browsing for new books to read. If the first book in your series does well, readers will keep coming back for more. It is far easier to market your new book to existing fans of your work than trying to get new readers interested in your work, so the more successful your series, the easier it will be to market and achieve high sales when you release the next book in it.
Of course, writing a book series takes careful planning and considerable effort. However, if you think your book idea could be turned into a great series, this is something worth considering, before you start writing your first novel.
How many of you who have written series of books had planned ahead to write a series? It seems like thinking too far ahead. And yes, it would take careful planning. I'm not sure how this would work with my memoir, though perhaps there could be a sequel memoir.
I have begun working more on the idea I had of a diary novel set in the 1980s. This seems like something that would develop into a series. What I don't know, however, is how long to make one book in this sort of format, let alone any subsequent books. So far I have written four installments of "entries," some of which take place on more than one date. The most recent one is how the main character is "Preparing for Life Behind Bars." Click this link to see what is meant by this.
I will soon be signing up for the advanced memoir writing class that starts in October and may also consider one or more of the online writing classes offered. These include writing for kids and writing for young adults, which may be one or two I need as I attempt to write this diary novel. There is also one on writing fantasy, something I'd like to explore, since books in this genre always seem to be in series. Even if I don't write a series of books, I might want to at least attempt a fantasy short story or two. And there is one on effective editing, which I think I should think about taking. One on mystery writing is also being offered. I may look into that one as well. If I do any of these, I will do one at a time, since each is six weeks. As is the advanced memoir writing, though that one is in person. The beginning one over the summer was only three weeks.