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  1. daturaonfire
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    daturaonfire Senior Member

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    Novels Set in the Same World?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by daturaonfire, Aug 6, 2009.

    I know that publishers probably will not take a series from a first-time author, which I understand. However, I've just finished an urban fantasy. It's stand alone, with no plans for a sequel. But I think most of my novels are probably going to be set in the world I've established in this first novel. So my question is, do recurring worlds bother publishers as much as a series?
     
  2. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Apparently it didn't bother whoever let Terry Pratchett into the game.
     
  3. Unit7
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    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally I wouldn't see why there would be a problem with it. That is if each book can stand alone.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most important thing is that your novel stands alone, which you've accomlished.

    If it is a successful world/novel, publishers have no problem with the author continuing in that world. Actually, series and same world situation are generally preferred when compared to trilogies by first time authors.

    Terry
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If you have already publised a work, and it has sold reasonably well, your publisher would probably be delighted to see another manuscript written with comparable quality, using the same setting.

    Some sequels work, some do not. If the sequel does nothing more than try toi capitalize on the success of its predecessor but offers nothing fresh, any publisher worth his or her salary should see through it and say, "No, thank you."

    But most series aren't preplanned to be series (there are exceptions, such as the various Dungeons and Dragons based fantasy series, which all derived from offline RPGs created by Gary Gygax and friends). They begin with a single novel and set of characters rich enough to build a number of good stories about. Authoe Sue Grafton wrote the mystery novel A is for Alibi as a result of a wine-fueled discussion with her friends about how to commit the perfect murder (if I remember correctly, she or one of her friends was going through a divorce). There was no plan to extend that novel into the series of alphabet novels (currently at T is for Trespass) -- although by the time she was finishing that first book, she may have chosen the title to leave that possibility open.

    One of the two novels I am working on has a setting that could very well host a sequel. However, for now I feel I will be doing very well indeed to see that novel on a bookstore shelf. (the other novel is definitely a one-off; at least I think it is).
     
  6. daturaonfire
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    daturaonfire Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I feel more confident about using my setting in other novels. :-D
     
  7. Twisted Inversely
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    Twisted Inversely Senior Member

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    My imagination. But I drop by the real world for m
    I don’t see any problems.

    Anyway as far as your publishers know, provided you haven’t told them otherwise, it is a stand alone novel.
     
  8. Tall and Weird
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    Tall and Weird New Member

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    Lawrence Watt-Evans has been writing books set in the world of Ethshar for decades. There's not a huge number of books in the series but the thing I really appreciate about them is how he manages to throw references about the other stories in. They aren't obtrusive or jarring but they, for me at least, add a sense of 'wholeness' to the world.

    And it doesn't hurt that they great stories! :)
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And let's not forget Larry Niven's Known Space. All those books are stand alone and yet take place in the very same universe, occasionally making passing mention of one another.
     
  10. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E Howard, or HP Lovecraft. Those guys had stories set in the same universe before they were well established, Lovecraft and Howard weren't even known pretty much until after they died.

    The nature of editors and publishers these days is a little different now than then, but if you just happen to have charcters in the same universe, oh well, coincidence...
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It did get annoying by the time he was trying to relate everything in the later novels, like turning the Ringworld into a Pak creation.
     
  12. jonathan hernandez13
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    jonathan hernandez13 Contributing Member Contributor

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    The mighty Cog is keen on his Niven lore, does his nerdiness exceed even my own?

    I got a little tired of all the Man-Kzin war books...
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Quite possibly. I even have a Jinxian love of puns.
     
  14. Snap
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    Actually, from what I've heard/read, agents DON'T want single pieces for authors, of any kind. They want authors they will be representing for their careers, not one-hit-wonders. Not that they won't take you one if you have a good novel and don't have plans for the future, it's just they prefer life-long authors as opposed to hobbyists. So if/when you query for this project, I would mention that you have plans for future novels (but don't say they're written yet, if they are. You don't want them to think you have a closet full of unpublished manuscripts).
     
  15. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    I think that's probably the best option--"Standalone with series potential" is a phrase batted around a lot on one of the other forums I frequent when this debate ops up. And that seems to be what you have.
     

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