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Author Zone - Readers Welcome! > Volume 1 in a 20 part series?

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message 1: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments I wonder about the wisdom of advertising that your first book is intended to be the first of however many you hope your series will run to? After all, if the first one only sells a copy to you Mum and her best friend, are you really going to keep grinding them out for the next x years? Any thoughts?


message 2: by Freddiesmum (new)

Freddiesmum | 137 comments Well I do think that sometimes they chop the story up into short books instead of giving us an epic...I like epics.....


message 3: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments I think it depends on why you write, if it's a hobby then whether you become a best seller or not you'll continue writing. I am by no means a 'popular' author, but writing makes me happy so I'll continue with my series whatever happens.


Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments I think it is impressively optimistic to think you can plan twenty books in advance.... It would put me off a bit. If a series already had twenty books I would still be cautious as I like each book to be able to stand alone. Even the great pratchett suffers from the need to read his books in some sort of sequence


message 5: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments i know plenty of series' with more than 20 books which are brilliant and were well planned ahead also.


message 6: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Woodland | 140 comments D.D. wrote: "I think it depends on why you write, if it's a hobby then whether you become a best seller or not you'll continue writing. I am by no means a 'popular' author, but writing makes me happy so I'll co..."

I'm with you D.D, writing makes me happy as well, and if people like the story & my style of writing, all well and good.


message 7: by Patti (baconater) (last edited Dec 23, 2012 05:21AM) (new)

Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I quite like revisiting favourite characters in a series but I get frustrated if a book leaves too many dangling plot points.

As I've said elsewhere, on principle I'd not buy any more books in the series.


message 8: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1790 comments I read quite a few series, but I have a tendency to come in at book 3 at the earliest... pre-Kindle, it was often difficult to find the earliest book in a series by the time it was well-established, unless it was someone like Pratchett.


message 9: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments Freddiesmum wrote: "Well I do think that sometimes they chop the story up into short books instead of giving us an epic...I like epics....."

Wish I'd thought of that! I could have had a series of 100s by now ;-)

Coming back to the main point, I can't even remember JKR advertising her first HP book as Vol 1 in a series of ? I think she did mention in an interview that she had a fixed amount of instalments in mind, but I can't imagine she would have continued to churn them out if they hadn't attracted any interest.


message 10: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments If you give the first book the series name (or something that's easily identifiable), that probably works best. Off the top of my head, Gone, by Michael Grant. Stands on its own, then book 2 comes out and it's part of the 'Gone' series...

I'd be reluctant to say it's part 1 of 20 (or even of a trilogy) since a. That's a commitment, and b. that's a limitation - just think how many "trilogies" went to four or more books (Hitchhikers...)

Unlike Patti, I think there is a good case for leaving plot lines dangling. If everything is neatly tied up at the end of the book there is no incentive for the reader to come back for more. There's no "I want to know what happens to so-and-so...". And there's also no incentive for the author: the story is told, finished - there is no need to write more. And if they do, it stops being a series and becomes a serial.


message 11: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25061 comments I never mind, even in a stand alone book, a little dangly bit! Life isn't tidy and sometime the totally squared off happy ending seems forced. I can cope with a little 'I wonder what happened to so and so' moment.


message 12: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I agree with Ignite in this.

I freaking hate it but it feels so damn good to hate it that much if you know what I mean?


message 13: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments If the cover made it clear that there was a long series planned, I'd be put off by the concern that the author would never finish the story.

Vis, W O T.


message 14: by D.D. Chant (last edited Dec 27, 2012 09:19AM) (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments I don't really have a preference for either style. I think that both the 'tidy' ending and the 'cliffhanger' approach can work just as well, depending on the series. Is it okay to use my books as example??? I'll put them inside a spoiler code just in case! ;-P

(view spoiler)

And then as Tim said there are serials which can also be fun. I've always been rather fond of Mary Jane Staples Adams family books. They don't 'really' follow on from each other, but contain the same characters.


message 15: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21879 comments I'm not sure how well it worked (Someone who's read the book would be a better judge) but at the end of Swords for a Dead Lady I tried to have a nice tidy ending AND a surprise link to the next book (I don't think it was quite a cliffhanger)


message 16: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25061 comments It worked Jim ;)


message 17: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21879 comments Ignite wrote: "It worked Jim ;)"

Thanks
There are times you try things as a writer and wonder 'did it work'.
You travel with a character for months (even years) and you feel you know them. So I feel the real knack is to have them do something, or have something in their past, that the reader feels is surprising, but not unrealistic and is interesting enough to want to read the next book to find out how it came about :-)


message 18: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments I like the familiarity of rediscovering much-loved characters in a book series, such as the Discworld series. I'm less keen on stories (and TV shows) that end with 'To Be Continued', which always leaves me feeling cheated. However, the point I initially raised was whether we should admire or be concerned about the chutzpah involved in describing your first book as part of the 'Whatever It Is' series of adventures, when you're not even sure that there'll be sufficient interest.


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21879 comments Going back to your initial point Philip, personally I'd be very wary of an unknown author who claims that their first book is part 1 of a twenty part series.

At the most basic level, I'd be even more wary if they were over fifty and made that claim!


message 20: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 1158 comments Having discovered, to my intense pain and frustration, that planning goes out the window about three minutes after you start work, I would also be very suspicious of someone who claimed to know at the beginning that their series would run to 20 installments. I've started four series this year and I know all of them are going to be ongoing series and I haven't a clue as to how many installments there will be in each series. NOT. A. CLUE.


message 21: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments Jim wrote: "Going back to your initial point Philip, personally I'd be very wary of an unknown author who claims that their first book is part 1 of a twenty part series.

At the most basic level, I'd be even m..."


That's a pessimistic viewpoint you have there, Jim! ;-)


message 22: by Jim (last edited Dec 29, 2012 09:26AM) (new)

Jim | 21879 comments Look back over the last twenty years and see how your life has changed :-)
The next twenty years will have changes as well, and whilst you might do two books a year, two books a year, every year, for ten years, is some going.

But yes, pessimistic probably covers it adequately :-)


message 23: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Philip wrote: "Jim wrote: "Going back to your initial point Philip, personally I'd be very wary of an unknown author who claims that their first book is part 1 of a twenty part series.

At the most basic level, I..."


And have you seen a recent photo of GRRM? I wouldn't put money on his making it to the summer.

(Without wishing him any ill will at all)


message 24: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21879 comments Ironically whole Game of Thrones things passed me by. I missed the first ones and now, when I can go into one of the cheap shops and buy all the books as a boxed set, it just out-faces me. My TBR pile is big enough as it is, I'm just not willing to hand over so many months of my life to that one project.
Yet I've got a huge chunk of the Raymond E. Feist books, but not only was I younger, there was only one book with a hint that it might be a trilogy.


message 25: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Jim, trust me: you are missing nothing. The HBO series is OK, the books are rubbish as GRRM can't write novels.

*Grabs tin hat and ducks*


message 26: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21879 comments Will wrote: "Jim, trust me: you are missing nothing. The HBO series is OK, the books are rubbish as GRRM can't write novels.

*Grabs tin hat and ducks*"


some people have muttered that to me, but I'm not sure any have dared put it in print :-)


message 27: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments Haven't read the books, but I'm with you on the TV series being OK (but nothing more) front.


message 28: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments Is it me or is there a trend of releasing short stories, or even a chapter of a book, as a separate volume at 99p? If I'm right, I would suspect this is seriously going to kill off the 99p end of the market as readers become ever more wary of finishing up with a book they can read in 10 minutes flat!


message 29: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments The rumours are that some writers are making a ot of money from doing just that.

It's a version of the victorian serial novels


message 30: by Jud (new)

Jud (judibud) | 18537 comments Will wrote: "The rumours are that some writers are making a ot of money from doing just that.

It's a version of the victorian serial novels"


That's what I thought this thread would be about.

I love a good series and I don't mind cliffhangers, although if it takes too long for the next book to come out I can lose interest.


message 31: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21879 comments I'm currently working on a 'prequel' to fall into the £1 slot. Not sure how long it will be because I've barely started, but I'm thinking over 30K words, perhaps under 50K

It's the crack dealer marketing scam, get 'em hooked on it cheap then charge them full price when they're hooked :-)


message 32: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments My concern is where the product barely makes it into double figures as far as page numbers are concerned. We're in danger then of the readership becoming cynical.


message 33: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments The general readership is already cynical...


message 34: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) | 7913 comments I rarely buy books without real page numbers on Amazon, unless I know for a fact it's a full length novel.


message 35: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments Will wrote: "The general readership is already cynical..."

I suspect you may be right. My concern is that my first book, which is only 56ish pages long, has always been 99p because I thought that was a fair price for it. But if it is going to be tarred with the same brush as these overgrown notelets, then...


message 36: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments My personal feeling Phillip would be to say: don't undervalue your work because some over value theirs.


message 37: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21879 comments Will wrote: "My personal feeling Phillip would be to say: don't undervalue your work because some over value theirs."

I think this is the heart of the issue.
Indeed I don't think you've got any real options anyway. You can hardly cut your price, and if you jack it up higher than you think the book warrants, then you're just helping feed that mad spiral


message 38: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments Yes, thanks both. Tricky innit?


message 39: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments I'm so glad it's entirely out of my hands, I have to confess.


message 40: by Philip (new)

Philip Whiteland | 3132 comments Adam wrote: "Philip wrote: "My concern is where the product barely makes it into double figures as far as page numbers are concerned. We're in danger then of the readership becoming cynical."

Or perhaps wary...."


Yes, so do I having been 'burned' a couple of times.


message 41: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments I'm just preparing (with the publishers) a very small release. I'm hoping we can make it free as a promo.

What is the minimum Ammy allow you to set?


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments 77p


message 43: by Will (new)

Will Macmillan Jones (willmacmillanjones) | 11721 comments Mmmmmm


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