I've gotten quite serious about this whole becoming-a-published-author thing, and I'm pretty set on doing it the "traditional way", i.e. I'm not looking to self-publish, or go through amazon or anything like that, at least not as my plan A. I've only really lurked this section of the forums, but now I come with some genuine questions about what I should do next. This is planning quite far ahead though. Any novel I have is far from being a publishable work, I just want to know where and how to concentrate my efforts over the coming years. Essentially, what I have my heart set on having published is my series of six (or possibly seven) YA Fantasy novels. I believe the concept is good enough and that the quality of writing will be too, I just have other issues. I've heard that first time authors, series and publishers don't mix very well, though I'm unsure on the details. I've heard people say that publishers will take on the first novel in the series, but only if the novel in question is a stand-alone one as well. I'm not sure if the first novel of my series is, so I'll include a brief summary below. Basically, our MC and two of his friends are magically transported to a place far from their home and in their possession a key wanted by some bad guys, bad guys who happen to not be very far away any more. Eventually, the three characters get picked up by some other good guys and they realise the enemy knows they are here and have the key. They are chased across the map for a bit until they arrive at one of the good guys' city. Then there's a big battle and, thanks to some timely reinforcements from the MC's own people, the bad guys are ousted. The MC, his friends, the people of his race then set off home, which is where the novel ends. Now, before you make the obvious suggestion, these guys never actually get home, not until the end of the series. They're sucked into a war and it becomes apparent that this war will affect their home as well, so they stay and fight. There's a lot of talk of said war being on the horizon and that "things are changing" in the first novel so, while I think the ending is alright, there might be too much foreboding of later events. So, my question is, would this novel, assuming it is of good enough quality, get published, with it having such an ending and being the first in a series? If not, what should I do? I have a few, truly stand-alone novel ideas in my head. Should I write on of these up? It would give me some good practice as well. And should this novel be of the same genre, YA Fantasy? Or should I just change the ending of this novel? This series is what I've really got my heart set on. Thanks in advance for any advice, guys. I'm happy to answer more questions if you need them answered!