Author Topic: If you're starting a new series, what will you do differently this time around?  (Read 100267 times)  

Joliedupre

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This thread is worth its weight in gold. You can't get this stuff in any university class. Thanks to everyone for posting--I've really learned a lot.

I'm happy you've found the thread helpful, John.  So have I!  :)

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    Offline Chinese Writer

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    In my latest series of cozy mysteries, I'm trying to make sure there isn't a timeline.

    In the 4th book of my first series, I eventually married my female amateur sleuth off to her policeman boyfriend and thought that was the end of it. Until fans started clamouring for more. But female amateur sleuths are always single, right? Or widowed, or divorced.  Like Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher.

    So the new series will have no timeline, no heavy romance, and will just be a record  of cases. I hope.  :)

    The Lucy Stone series have Lucy married and later with kids. It can work. Instead of romantic tension there is balancing family needs with sleuthing, kind of like all us working moms.

    Offline Amanda M. Lee

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    In my latest series of cozy mysteries, I'm trying to make sure there isn't a timeline.

    In the 4th book of my first series, I eventually married my female amateur sleuth off to her policeman boyfriend and thought that was the end of it. Until fans started clamouring for more. But female amateur sleuths are always single, right? Or widowed, or divorced.  Like Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher.

    So the new series will have no timeline, no heavy romance, and will just be a record  of cases. I hope.  :)

    Actually, I find fans prefer the romance angle in cozy mysteries. You don't have to marry them off right away -- but you can put them in a relationship. Heck, the first three or four books can be flirting and agreeing to that relationship. I know all my fans love relationships in a cozy mystery.

    Amanda M. Lee

    Offline jaxspenser

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    Cover art... I would take way more time planning out the entire series' cover art. It's best to make decisions about cover art while in a state of "I have plenty of time" rather than "uh oh, I have to get this our really soon!" I think the coordination of the artwork between books is super important and serves not only as a marketing tool but a guide for the reader who is dedicated to your series. Admittedly, I'm still in the middle of the release of my first series so more observations to come... :)

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    Offline Evenstar

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    I'll make my first book at least 50,000 words so I can take advantage of BookBub. In my current series the first book is 25,000 words and doesn't qualify.

    This is an excellent one! I've often thought this but never reminded myself of it at the important moment! I'll be starting writing a brand new long lasting series in December and it absolutely has to have a first book that is at least 'eligible' for Bookbub.

    Joliedupre

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    This is an excellent one! I've often thought this but never reminded myself of it at the important moment! I'll be starting writing a brand new long lasting series in December and it absolutely has to have a first book that is at least 'eligible' for Bookbub.

    I begin writing my next series in November after I spend October researching.  I may bite the bullet and go for 50,000 words for each book.  We'll see.  I prefer a shorter length, but we'll see.
    « Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 12:15:26 pm by Joliedupre »

    Offline Maia Sepp Ross

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    As for what I will do differently the next time around:
    I'll make my first book at least 50,000 words so I can take advantage of BookBub. In my current series the first book is 25,000 words and doesn't qualify.


    Oh god, that's brilliant. Thank you. This is an awesome thread.
    « Last Edit: September 27, 2014, 11:41:51 am by Maia Sepp »

    Offline EthanRussellErway

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    I always need to remind myself that patience is a virtue.  I'm working on slowing down, working on one series at a time, letting my work breathe a little.  I think writing is like anything else, if you take the time to go slowly, you'll end up faster in the end.

    Offline Victoria J

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    With the new series I'm writing I'm keeping the book length under 80,000. No more 150,000+ books for me for a long while. That way, if a series needs adjustments or if I feel I need to give it up altogether I won't feel that I've wasted too much time with a huge book. Also, They don't take nearly as long and I can write more books per year.

    Offline wtvr

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    I'm just reiterating what people are saying here, but maybe if I write it down it will happen:

    - All three books written before #1 goes live. I'm too easily distracted by shiny objects. (Ooh look! A new idea!)
    - Plot the whole damn thing to save time
    - Great covers and blurbs
    - #1 long enough to get ENT and then Bookbub
    - Start saving money for that bookbub ad now!

    Offline bobbic

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    This is an excellent one! I've often thought this but never reminded myself of it at the important moment! I'll be starting writing a brand new long lasting series in December and it absolutely has to have a first book that is at least 'eligible' for Bookbub.

    Yes! I didn't even know that was an issue until I read it here. I'd also brand my covers so they don't look so disjointed.
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    Offline MajesticMonkey

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    - Don't bundle until the separate parts' sales are WAY down. That's an important one. If you bundle too early it will kill the sales on individual titles unnecessarily. 7 months in, one of my series is still going strong without the bundle. Perhaps when I release the new series I'll bundle the old one.

    I would hope I would have come up with this one myself once I published the entire series. Guess I don't have to find out anymore. It's always better being prepared in situations like these. Thanks! Great Tip! :)

    Offline WilliamEsmont

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    Finish the first series before starting a second. Or a third. (note: I'm a fast writer but I take FOREVER in revision)

    The third installment in my espionage thriller series is slated to land around the end of this year - three years after book #2. In between, I wrote a four part horror series (3 novels + 1 novelette) plus a SciFi novella plus a few other projects that languish on my hard drive in various states of completion. The horror series was supposed to be a standalone, to scratch an itch, but it sold pretty well, and I was still feeling fatigue from the first two books in the espionage series, so I kept on going.




    « Last Edit: September 29, 2014, 08:45:24 pm by WilliamEsmont »
                           

    Joliedupre

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    This thread is one of my favorites!  Thanks! :)

    Offline JeanetteRaleigh

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    I would choose more carefully and not get sidetracked by 'great' ideas for standalones.  (This is an ongoing dilemma for me.  I currently have two series that I'm focused on, but those neat ideas keep poking up and drawing my curiousity.  I have at least 5 ideas that I've squelched so I don't go back down the sale-less path of standalones)









    Offline Evenstar

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    I would choose more carefully and not get sidetracked by 'great' ideas for standalones.  (This is an ongoing dilemma for me.  I currently have two series that I'm focused on, but those neat ideas keep poking up and drawing my curiousity.  I have at least 5 ideas that I've squelched so I don't go back down the sale-less path of standalones)

    Weirdly I released my first stand alone at the end of August and right now it is outselling the titles in my series. So sometimes people like a stand alone. Or maybe they are people who enjoyed the series and want more from the same author? Anyway, I don't think there is any harm in writing one from time to time, they may even bring in new fans who were unsure about trying and committing to your whole series, but then they like the stand alone and think they will give the series a go. Win win

    Offline Indecisive

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    Cover art... I would take way more time planning out the entire series' cover art. It's best to make decisions about cover art while in a state of "I have plenty of time" rather than "uh oh, I have to get this our really soon!" I think the coordination of the artwork between books is super important and serves not only as a marketing tool but a guide for the reader who is dedicated to your series. Admittedly, I'm still in the middle of the release of my first series so more observations to come... :)

    I did/am doing this for my current series. I spent a lot of time thinking about concept and style and looking at other fantasy novels' cover art. I found a series of stock art images which fit the concept and grabbed them up. I designed the whole 5-book series at once. I'll tweak the designs a bit more before it goes live, but I'm pretty happy with my basic layout.

    I am also keeping a multi-tab spreadsheet to keep track of things and note ideas for plot revisions in whatever book I'm not working on at the moment.

    I have no idea how it will work out sales-wise. Ask me next year, or check my kindle store rankings!

    Joliedupre

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    Weirdly I released my first stand alone at the end of August and right now it is outselling the titles in my series. So sometimes people like a stand alone. Or maybe they are people who enjoyed the series and want more from the same author? Anyway, I don't think there is any harm in writing one from time to time, they may even bring in new fans who were unsure about trying and committing to your whole series, but then they like the stand alone and think they will give the series a go. Win win

    Next month (October) I'm doing research for my next series.  I'll start writing it in November, but it won't be released until January.  I've got releases of my current stuff for October and November, but I don't have anything for December.  Therefore, I'm planning a stand alone for December.  As you've said, there's no harm in writing one from time to time, and it gives me something to release for December, because my goal, beginning with October, is to have a release every month.

    Offline wtvr

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    OK, I lied. I wrote and released book 1. So shoot me. Book 2 is almost done.

    Offline Evenstar

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    OK, I lied. I wrote and released book 1. So shoot me. Book 2 is almost done.

    LOL Congratulations!

    And Jolie, I agree that the idea of keeping momentum going with the occasional stand alone rather than releasing nothing at all is actually pretty genius

    Offline katrina46

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    I'd have the second up before I start promoting.

    Joliedupre

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    And Jolie, I agree that the idea of keeping momentum going with the occasional stand alone rather than releasing nothing at all is actually pretty genius

    Thanks! :)

    Offline Frank D. Lawrence

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    I don't know. Series often seem to discourage me as a potential reader. I know in advance that I have to buy the next book and then the next book... That is why I have not even thought about creating a series yet...

    I'd probably would write a stand-alone sequel first and not even hint at that it is one...

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    Offline Lydniz

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    I don't know. Series often seem to discourage me as a potential reader. I know in advance that I have to buy the next book and then the next book... That is why I have not even thought about creating a series yet...

    But are you referring to a series or a serial? They're two different things.

    Offline Frank D. Lawrence

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    Both.

    I have the uncanny OCD that makes me want to own every part of a series as soon as I own one book/cd/movie whatever...

    But I guess most people are not like that  :D
    « Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 11:00:28 am by Frank D. Lawrence »
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