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It appears that most of the big player authors write long series with full novels. I have a few short series. I am currently writing the second book in a new stand-alone series. I wonder if readers are so conditioned to long series that it's all they are interested in buying. Also, the market is swamped with free and discounted Ebooks, and unless we pay huge amounts of advertising money, they slip to the bottom of the slush pile.
I was discouraged to read that some authors spend more than 12 thousand dollars per month in ads to keep their ranking high. I'm not in the financial position to do that and it was demoralising for me to read that from a author on FB. I'm spending $3 a day on ads and that's my limit.
So I thank the Lord I can still feel passionate and put my books out there in spite of how hard it is. I guess I'm feeling discouraged, but I'll probably bounce back and I'm very determined
 

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Personally, I don't think it matters too much whether you write a series or individual novels. What is important is that you provide the reader with an experience that is so embracing (compelling, exciting, stimulating) that they want more of what you have to offer.
 

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If I put on my reader hat: it is about the time investment you make into a new author. Few people I know love to always go discover new authors - too much work. Instead we like to read more of what we liked - and enjoy world building.

We laugh about the romance heroine with 7 sisters and the hero with 6 brothers, but that makes for a lot of fun reading if done well - and we come back to something we like.

So my vote for starting a new author goes for "have at least 3 books" - I like fantasy and that is often a lot of investment in the world and wording too. But after that, if I like an author, i am happy they have written more of what I like - their writing.

You did not add a link to your signature with your work so we can have a look, but 'a few short series' is a lot of content to consume if somebody likes your style. For you it is more about enticing them to read more: tease them at the end of the book with your other work and give a glimpse into it. This way you can lead them from one series to the next.

Also if you have the numbers, think about your series and if you are really averse to having more in that series. Most important: if it is a series please make sure that they are connected on your amazon page and show as such - you will loose a lot of people if it is only in the title. hth.
 

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Some authors send six figures a month. 12k is actually pretty low for the A & B list in most popular genres. (I'd call myself B-list & I spend multiple six figures a year on ads. Usually I aim to spend 40% of revenue on expenses, but it varies from 30-60% depending on how books and ads are doing. Trying to go all in on AMS earlier this year did bad things for my profits).

The short answer is yes. Series so well. The longer answer is many readers like series and series are easier to advertise at a profit. I don't know that longer series are better though. Books start to perform less well sometime after book five IME. And you do lose some people every book. By book seven or eight that adds up.

I would generally recommend series of 4-5 books (maybe start at 3 if it's your first time out), but it does depend on what people want in your niche.
 

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Series tend to be popular but that's good news for authors, because a series makes it easier to earn back your ad costs. They allow you to advertise three (or more) books for the price of one, which is awesome. Plus, instead of starting from square one every time you release a new book and having to find new readers for it all over again, you can build momentum with a series so that the success of Book 1 feeds the success of Book 2 and so on. It works the other direction too; each new release draws eyeballs to the older books in the series just as they're starting to age and slip in visibility, giving the whole series a fresh boost.

I mean, you obviously don't have to write a series if you have strong feelings against it, or spend a lot on advertising. Some indies do alright with stand alone novels and minimal advertising. But if you're in a situation where you can do both those things, it's like walking downhill instead of up. Makes things easier on the author.

Anyway, try not to be too discouraged. There's more than one way up this hill, if you're really determined to make it happen. The important thing is to study what your options are so that, even if you decide to avoid a common route, you can make the choice deliberately, not accidentally, and be prepared with a solid plan for how to get up the harder path.
 

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If you want to make money as a self-published author, there are easier and harder paths.

Easier: write in popular genres, write long series, write what readers expect (popular tropes with a twist).
Harder: write in undefined or unclear genres, write standalones, write what you want, even if there isn't an existing market for it.

Sales are harder on the harder path. Sales are easier (but not easy!) on the easier path. Exceptions always exist, but they remain exceptions. Markets change over time too. And it's perfectly fine to choose harder over easier, but if you do, there's no use in wringing your hands over it. Make your choices with your eyes open and put in the work; that's really all you can do.

Wonder
 
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