Friday, April 1, 2011

On Sequels and Other Series

I have been pondering the e publishing market for a while, and one piece of advice that I have heard over and over is to not simply publish one book at a time. Apparently authors who have multiple books available enjoy a larger amount of success than authors who only have one book, mostly because readers buy more books from authors with other stories they can read compared to authors who only give them a limited amount at a time.

My question is, do the other books all need to be in the same series? I have several stories that I am partway through writing and revising, but none are actually in the same series. In fact, a lot of them seem to have trouble fitting into the same genre. Would that handicap my progress as an e published author if I put them up online at the same time, or would it be just as helpful? What do you guys think?


  1. I'd say it would handicap you. I wouldn't say it's a bad idea or that it's not doable, but I definitely wouldn't say that it'd be helpful.

    People like reading things that are similar to what they like to read. It's like that famous author (can't recall his name) who wrote those intense, lawyer-case books. Then after eight of them or so, wrote in an entirely different genre and his fans threw a fit. He still did well since he's uber famous, but there a lot of bumps to overcome at first.

    It's annoying, but people label you and they come to you expecting that label. So if you want to publish those books, try to find something that is similar to all of them. Maybe the writing style? A certain character-type? A certain theme or tone?

    Once you find it, use it as your main marketing ploy. Show your readers that even if the book is a different genre than the last one, it will still have THIS in it and thus is worthy to be read by them.

    If you want to go the easier route, though, go with a series. Or at least in the same genre. After a few books and you've established a fan base, then trying hopping about.

  2. I am worried about the fact that they are all so different, for just that reason. Would a person who read Wolfhound want to read Kingsley, or would they just wait impatiently for the next Wolfhound book to come out? Bah. I don't know. Perhaps I am just too impatient to start the whole thing.

    My main problem is, though, that I don't have a fan base to confuse to begin with, and I don't want to spend two years pounding out a three book trilogy that nobody ends up wanting to read. Why not put all the books I am working out there at once and see which ones catch fire? It's not like traditional publishing where there is only so much shelf space, and at the same time I have these books just burning a hole in my hard drive. It is quite frustrating. :(

    Anyone else have any advice?

  3. It's true you don't have a fan base to confuse. But having a bunch of different-styled books will confuse the fan base you're TRYING to create.

    While I do think you're too impatient to start (and waiting would be a better idea - the market is only going to get better and easier as people/readers make the transit), doing the way you propose (just throw out what you've got and see what sticks) is doable. But you'll need to work really hard with marketing those books. Since you don't have a series to build up a fan base for a certain story, you can't rely simply on the word-of-mouth monster to find you. Find book bloggers that review books similiar to the books you're trying to push. Read up on Smashwords, an e-distributor. Read up on how all the other successful e-book indie publishers are getting their book known and out there.

    If you throw out your books and hope luck finds you, you'll probably make a few bucks, like 20-50 dollars a month. But if you want a sustainable income from this, DON'T rely on luck, research everything you can about the subject, and then hunker down, and prepare for battle.

    Also, if you need an editor, I should be able to help out now. Last month was a wreck. Several siblings lost homes/jobs but things are looking a bit better now. Let me know if you need any help.