1. red_racoon
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    red_racoon New Member

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    Novel Series - publish as you write them or altogether?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by red_racoon, Jan 8, 2013.

    I am about to start writing a novel which will be the first in a three book series
    However, before starting I wanted to clarify:

    Is it best to publish them all together or publish the first book and see how it does.
    I don't want to spend a year or two writing a series which no one reads.

    All the novel series i have seen and read have the list of the books featured in the series on the first page,
    but i won't be able to add them until they are written

    Any suggestions :confused:
     
  2. PlotDeviceManager
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    PlotDeviceManager Member

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    I am actually taking a class on writing a series of books (Holly Lisle, How to Write a Series). Her best advice so far has been the Beginner Rule. IF you are a beginner, then you your first book MUST stand alone (be a complete story in and of itself). Then, if you get your novel picked up, you can try to sell the publisher the rest of the series. I would say publish as you go then. Even if someone takes your first book but not the other two, you can fish around for other publishers for them while still working for the current publisher. If your interested in the course, its $97. (I know its alot but that was my Christmas present for me and I have yet to experience buyers remorse). Its a four week course and I have to say that after learning from her, I am so happy with the way my work has been going. Before I was just writing a story, and not doing a very good job of it. Now, everything I've kept has felt excellent and I can see how writing a single novel is very different from writing a series.

    But advertisement aside, I say publish as you go. Get your feet under you and THEN try to extend your good work.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you aren't intending to self-publish those books, you will have to query agents/publishers with the first one as a stand alone book and it will have to become a bestseller, before the publisher will risk taking on the sequels/others in a series...

    querying for a series will seriously hamper your chances of getting any of them accepted by an agent or publisher...
     
  4. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    Just combine all 3 books into one giant book. Problem solved.
     
  5. red_racoon
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    red_racoon New Member

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    Wow, i wasn't aware that publishers mainly avoided series, though it makes sense.

    I guess if i'm able to publish the first book then i could see how it goes and then possibly add to it if it gets read and if the publisher wishes to risk another book in the series
     
  6. red_racoon
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    red_racoon New Member

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    lol, that would be one alternative. i guess i could split it into three acts, hmmm....

    Although theres no cliff hanger then xD
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Not really. You run into a word count problem. Most agents and publishers won't consider a book from a first time writer of more than 100,000 words.
     
  8. red_racoon
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    red_racoon New Member

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    What is the largest word count publishers would consider? I know this is deviating from the original question but just curious
     
  9. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    It depends on the genre. For example, YA is usually on the lower end. Generally the range seems to be between 80K-120K. For first time authors, they prefer closer to the lower end of that range. But of course, with everything, nothing is set in stone and there are exceptions.
     
  10. red_racoon
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    red_racoon New Member

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    it will generally be aimed at young adults and it will be the first book i'm looking to publish.
    I enjoy writing so much that i would like the book to be as detailed as possible, thanks for the figures :p
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The first book you try to publish should be stand alone, not part of a series.
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    As Cogito indicated, even if you intend a series, it is best to write the first novel to stand alone. It should have its own, full story arc. While there can certainly be room for those characters to continue in another novel, it should not end as a cliff hanger or be structured like a true trilogy.

    The formula has not only worked for me, but many writers. There's no reason why it couldn't work for you.

    My suggestion would be to write the first novel in the series and then write the first two or three chapters of the second (to keep the flow/characters, etc.--plus sometimes it's more difficult to start with a blank screen after a lot of time has pass when writing a series/continuing characters).

    While you're attempting to get representation/find a publisher, write another unrelated novel. Send that off...and continue. If one of your novels finds a publisher and does well, it will open the door, not only for other novels in the series, but for other novels (that might be a potenial series--or stand alone).

    Good luck!
     
  13. Anielle
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    Anielle Member

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    I agree with the other postings try to have your first book a stand alone book, if you want it as part of a series then keep that in the back of your mind. If your first book is successful then release the others if there is interest.

    I was also given the advice once that if you write a series make sure you are at the very least halfway through writing the next book so that you can release them in a timely manner.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    YA word counts tend to be around 40-75... the lowest count for the younger half of the age range... books that cross over to adult can go higher...
     
  15. red_racoon
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    red_racoon New Member

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    I'm content with the series i have planned out so i'll work on another shorter, stand alone book first and see how that goes. Good tip writing ahead, i'll need to do that in the future

    thanks for all the input guys :p
     
  16. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    I am working on number one of my series too. This is an excellent thread. Once I finish my first book I will immediately start writing the next before I send it out. I think if the publishers likes your first book and your other two are already in manuscripts ready to read then you definitely have a better chance.
     
  17. red_racoon
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    red_racoon New Member

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    After some thought i have decided to do the same. I understand why everyone has suggested to write a stand alone novel first, but i have so many ideas which constantly seem better that i usually start writing a new book after just a few chapters into the previous one. i've settled on the three part series i have come up with and really want to stick to it. publishing a stand alone book simply for the purpose of using it as a stepping stone, seems like a bad idea when there's a better novel i'm eager to write, though i've taken the comments into account and will make the ending of the first book a little more abstract so that if it's not successful i'll simply abandon the series and have it as a stand alone.

    best of luck with your publishing, hope the thread helped you too
     
  18. ArnaudB
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    ArnaudB Member

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    I've been having the same "problem" too. I've multiple stories I want to write and those I really want to write would end up in series. To solve that I followed David Weber example in that and chose a main plot and strictly stuck between right the beginning and the end of it. Not trying to answer every question by the end of the story.

    For an useful advice though. The first book shouldn't needing the later books, it must be self-sufficient. On the other end if you do plan to make it a series, it's probably good to give hints about the universe but leave them unanswered in the book. Building the universe is always nice, but cutting on the description is a must given the maximum length.

    Good luck for you writing too!
     

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