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Author Topic: How to add a non-series book to a series?  (Read 412 times)  

Offline Steven Hardesty

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How to add a non-series book to a series?
« on: December 06, 2017, 02:29:15 PM »
How can I fold into a series a standalone novel that is not part of the string of numbered books in a series?  I want this standalone (featuring a minor character from the series) to be seen by readers as a complement to but not part of the series.  I thought to give the standalone a cover styled differently from the series covers but with the series name.  Do I risk confusing readers?  Will KDP refuse to include a non-numbered book as part of a series? ::)


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Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 02:33:07 PM »
How can I fold into a series a standalone novel that is not part of the string of numbered books in a series?  I want this standalone (featuring a minor character from the series) to be seen by readers as a complement to but not part of the series.  I thought to give the standalone a cover styled differently from the series covers but with the series name.  Do I risk confusing readers?  Will KDP refuse to include a non-numbered book as part of a series? ::)

Big fat yes. You can't and they won't do it. I have a book 1A that they refuse to add.

I have tried asking them. They said no.

I've tried numbering them sequentially. They still said no because now the book numbers didn't match what was on the cover.

I've tried not numbering. They won't add it.

They WON'T add it, no matter what.

I told them of my extreme displeasure about this stupidity every time they send on me one of those "How are we doing?" surveys. Surely, Kobo can do it beautifully. Why can't Amazon. The whole thing is stupid.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 02:36:22 PM by Patty Jansen »

Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 02:49:52 PM »
Uh oh. I wonder how a duology (containing the first two books of a series) should be numbered. Book 1 or 2? No number at all?  :-\

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Online Lorri Moulton

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 04:12:56 PM »
I'm planning a stand alone to tie in with my trilogy.  Something like 1.5, but now it sounds like it will either be #4 or just add a link to it in the other books.


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Online Becca Mills

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 04:29:28 PM »
Allowing decimal numbering would be a significant improvement to the system. That way I could label my short story 2.1, and people would know where it falls in the series while understanding it's not a full novel (which they'd likely expect if I labeled it 3). It's super-annoying that Amazon isn't flexible in this area.

Offline Laran Mithras

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 05:11:59 PM »
Under my original author name, I wrote a two-part series (because fans wanted it) and then added a ... supplementary story short based on a secondary character.

I didn't even bother putting...

 :o

Just realized my two original books aren't listed as a series. At least the titles and book cover are almost identical.

The way I see it, the fan-reader will know the book that comes next. Introducing a supplementary spinoff should still attract the reader's attention. I wouldn't worry much about it - especially if you update your series links to include the new novel.
 

Online Bill Hiatt

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 07:11:19 AM »
Under my original author name, I wrote a two-part series (because fans wanted it) and then added a ... supplementary story short based on a secondary character.

I didn't even bother putting...

 :o

Just realized my two original books aren't listed as a series. At least the titles and book cover are almost identical.

The way I see it, the fan-reader will know the book that comes next. Introducing a supplementary spinoff should still attract the reader's attention. I wouldn't worry much about it - especially if you update your series links to include the new novel.
That's how I tend to handle the situation. Amazon is inflexible on this issue. Of course, the last time I checked, instead of just being able to add to the existing series page, someone has to recreate it from scratch--hardly the most efficient system. I wonder if that's one of the reasons for the inflexibility?

Amazon understand prequels--if you remember to label the prequel as 0. If there ends up being more than one prequel volume, you're out of luck. You're out of luck on trying to add anything in the middle of a series for sure.

When I was young, I remember some publishers addressing complicated series issues with multiple series. A long prequel sequence, for example, would become its own series with common words in the series name that tied the two series together. Short works that fit in somewhere would get popped out as anthologies, again with some easily identifiable word from the original series in the anthology title.

I tried that approach myself. My first series, Spell Weaver, has a companion series, Spell Weaver additions, for shorts that fit somewhere in the sequence. That works up to a point. If I click the similar books link on one of the relevant product pages, I see all the book in both series. How many customers ever click that link I couldn't say.


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Online Lorri Moulton

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 09:02:33 AM »
(Snip) Amazon understand prequels--if you remember to label the prequel as 0. If there ends up being more than one prequel volume, you're out of luck. You're out of luck on trying to add anything in the middle of a series for sure.

Prequel might work.  Thank you, Bill :)

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Offline TromboneAl

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 09:29:37 AM »
Why not just make it part of the series? You can mention, as I do, that it can be read as a standalone.

E.g: A Mind Reader's Christmas may be read as a standalone book or as Book Four in the Eric Beckman series.

I'm going to have a similar problem. I'm writing a book that will be part of the "Eric Beckman Series" yet won't have Eric Beckman in it. It has his wife in it, butwill happen before EB was born (wife was a time traveler).

So can I call it Eric Beckman Series 5?? I'm sure Amazon will be okay with it, but reader??

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Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 10:28:52 AM »
Super Witch is part of my Souls by the Sea series but it's told from the viewpoint of a child and it's for children. Totally different audience so I wrote it as if the series didn't exist. They're both mentioned in the back matter but you don't need to read one to understand the other. 

Long story short: make it a standalone but mention the connection. Fans will try both.

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Offline Steven Hardesty

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Re: How to add a non-series book to a series?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 09:59:54 PM »
Thank you all for great advice!  I gave it a lot of thought.  Decided best bet for my objectives is to label the standalone as "book # X" in the series with a reader's note on page one identifying it as a chronological outlier.  If that doesn't fly, I'll :'(.


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