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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All my books are in series of some description.

Except one.

I love my novel Shifting Reality to death. I did a lot of work on getting the world right. It's set in space and the protagonist comes from a culture derived from the slums of Jakarta. I did a lot of reading for this book.

However, it's a standalone and generally sells like crap. I mean, for at least a year it's been selling low single digits a month, if that. I've concentrated on other projects, and haven't promoted the book. Hey, there is only so much time in the day.

About two months ago, I announced on Facebook and Twitter and my blog that I'm writing a sequel. Last month I sold more than 20 copies. The only thing I did was mention the sequel. That was all. That's the power of series.
 

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Patty, you've convinced me to do the same with a sci-fi novella that's been drifting at the bottom of the fish tank.  I always wanted to do a sequel but miniscule sales on the novella made it seem not worth doing.  Now I will.  As it's a book for which you designed the cover, I'll be back for another cover in a few months!
 

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Patty Jansen said:
About two months ago, I announced on Facebook and Twitter and my blog that I'm writing a sequel. Last month I sold more than 20 copies. The only thing I did was mention the sequel. That was all. That's the power of series.
That's VERY telling!
How much has changed over the years, when it used to be that the entire story was told in one book! :eek:
Best of luck with your sequel!
 

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Hey, I saw your last book in Epic Fantasy on Google Play!
Yep, it's up there. It *IS* epic, 552 pages long (Bad, bad, bad business decision. Never again!) But so far reviewers on the 'Zon are really liking it, so there is that.
 

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Last night, I put up the pre-orders for the next two books in my series.  I haven't done any promotion yet, since I really only put them up to get that part out of the way, but I've already got an order for each of them. 

I figure if I keep putting out one a month, by next year, I may actually get somewhere serious with this.
 

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ML-Larson said:
Last night, I put up the pre-orders for the next two books in my series. I haven't done any promotion yet, since I really only put them up to get that part out of the way, but I've already got an order for each of them.

I figure if I keep putting out one a month, by next year, I may actually get somewhere serious with this.
I like your covers, BTW!
 

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Thanks!  A friend of mine made the first one after I got ripped off by a "pro" designer, and gave me the template so I could use the same layout for the rest of the series.  I like her design way better than what the first person was supposed to have given me anyway.
 

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That's good news! :)

I have a serial (each part 15,000 words) that has ranked in the 200,000s+ on Amazon most of the time. Which is not good news.
I'm swapping to making the first part free and then I'm putting the other parts into the one volume and changing the covers. If the single volume does ok (stays under 30,000-50,000 on Amazon most of the time or sells 10 or more a day at other distributors ) I'll consider writing a sequel. I've set it up for a sequel, but it's totally complete as it is. Otherwise, I won't write a sequel. Due to not enough interest.

I'm relying on my writing for income and I won't write a sequel these days without a good indicator the series will do well as a whole.
 

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I'm a firm believer in series myself. My House saga was dead in the water after having issues with a publisher I signed with who handled the first two. After getting the rights back, I knew I wouldn't know until I got the last two published if it could be saved. By the time I got them done 1 year had passed since the first book, as I had to reformat the first two, also. Crickets for sales. Then, this month, the first got accepted in Bookbub. That series has made me a huge amount of money in the past 10 days. I wouldn't have gotten these royalties had I not finished the series. :) Yay, series!
 

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I agree about the power of series. People like getting invested in a family or group of friends. I know I like TV shows that are complete in each episode yet involve the same characters. Since starting my series, I'm even getting sales on my other, more complex books that took much longer to write. My only problem now is how to end the series when the time comes.

Joyce
 

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Readers like the in-depth of experience of long stories with lots of sequels or episodes. And they hate the idea of beginning an unfinished story which will never get finished.

When it is appropriate from an artistic standpoint, I think sequels are great.
 
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Patty Jansen said:
All my books are in series of some description.

Except one.

I love my novel Shifting Reality to death. I did a lot of work on getting the world right. It's set in space and the protagonist comes from a culture derived from the slums of Jakarta. I did a lot of reading for this book.

However, it's a standalone and generally sells like crap. I mean, for at least a year it's been selling low single digits a month, if that. I've concentrated on other projects, and haven't promoted the book. Hey, there is only so much time in the day.

About two months ago, I announced on Facebook and Twitter and my blog that I'm writing a sequel. Last month I sold more than 20 copies. The only thing I did was mention the sequel. That was all. That's the power of series.
Yes, I have experienced the same thing. Many readers want more. Another tidbit is that the first in a series have so-so sales until subsequent volumes are released, but once I release #2 and/or #3, the first will hold steady all on its own with very little promo from me.
Other things I noticed that help:
- linking to the pre-order for the next book at the end of each volume
- listing your release date schedule in the blurb for book #1. (Readers are sometimes reluctant to start a series if it is not complete; with the dates listed in the blurb, it gives the reader assurance that there will be resolution to the story and they won't be left hanging.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ebbrown said:
Yes, I have experienced the same thing. Many readers want more. Another tidbit is that the first in a series have so-so sales until subsequent volumes are released, but once I release #2 and/or #3, the first will hold steady all on its own with very little promo from me.
Other things I noticed that help:
- linking to the pre-order for the next book at the end of each volume
- listing your release date schedule in the blurb for book #1. (Readers are sometimes reluctant to start a series if it is not complete; with the dates listed in the blurb, it gives the reader assurance that there will be resolution to the story and they won't be left hanging.)
This, except I don't do release schedules or preorders. I keep people up to date on what I'm writing next on my blog. My link at the end of the book goes to a page where I tell people when the release is planned, and I keep this updated.

Maybe I would do better with preorders but the whole thought of uploading something that's not finished freaks me out badly, and when it's finished, I don't want to wait getting it out there. All my releases are "soft". I don't really do anything special except send a message to my mailing list once the book is live on all channels.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
This, except I don't do release schedules or preorders. I keep people up to date on what I'm writing next on my blog. My link at the end of the book goes to a page where I tell people when the release is planned, and I keep this updated.

Maybe I would do better with preorders but the whole thought of uploading something that's not finished freaks me out badly, and when it's finished, I don't want to wait getting it out there. All my releases are "soft". I don't really do anything special except send a message to my mailing list once the book is live on all channels.
I've decided to try something out with mine, to see if it makes any difference on overall sales. Since I've written a few books out anyway, and was planning on a monthly release schedule, I've decided to always have two pre-orders available. It may backfire on me horribly, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
 

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Patty Jansen said:
This, except I don't do release schedules or preorders. I keep people up to date on what I'm writing next on my blog. My link at the end of the book goes to a page where I tell people when the release is planned, and I keep this updated.

Maybe I would do better with preorders but the whole thought of uploading something that's not finished freaks me out badly, and when it's finished, I don't want to wait getting it out there. All my releases are "soft". I don't really do anything special except send a message to my mailing list once the book is live on all channels.
This is my approach as well. Which is a good thing for me, because as soon as I "schedule" my book to be finished, it completely blows up in my face. Every. Single. Time.
And it really is true that readers want to be immersed in a bigger universe. It makes me think about George R. R. Martin and the next GoT book. I feel like yelling out, "Just get the next book out already!"
Come to think of it, even I write at a faster pace than he does... :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
SB James said:
This is my approach as well. Which is a good thing for me, because as soon as I "schedule" my book to be finished, it completely blows up in my face. Every. Single. Time.
And it really is true that readers want to be immersed in a bigger universe. It makes me think about George R. R. Martin and the next GoT book. I feel like yelling out, "Just get the next book out already!"
Come to think of it, even I write at a faster pace than he does... :eek:
I tend not to schedule a release date for the book until I have a firm handle on when it will be done. Otherwise I put something vague.

For each series I've been making a page like this: http://pattyjansen.com/2014/03/12/for-queen-and-country/. I keep the latest series updates there, and if a next book hasn't been published yet, the link in the back of the book goes to this page. As soon as the book is out, I change the link to point to the Amazon page, the Kobo page or my website page for that book. I use editable prettylinks for this.
 
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