Saturday, January 30, 2016

Writing a Series?

I swear and, as God is my witness, I had a terrible prejudice against anyone who wrote a series, or planned to write one before their first book was even picked up. I laughed at anyone who wrote a complete series and had no agent to push it. Back in the day, series books weren't as popular as they are now. Today, it's almost a given that large independents and big publishers like/love to sell a series. Two-book, trilogies and large series packages are more popular than EVER. Multiple books are actually favored by publishers--it seems to be the advantageous way to hook  readers, build a fan base, and at the same time, launch a debut author. If you've written a standalone today, chances are excellent that you will be asked to follow it up with a sequel or more books that belong to a series--your special universe. I was left in the dust, from my own account, all those years ago, up until just fairly recently.

So, I want to formally APOLOGIZE for my narrow view and ridiculous exclamations.

I've completed a trilogy, edited  it with my agent, and turned it over. It's now going out on submission. 

I can't tell you what kind of hard work this project cost me. It was a mountain of writing, revising, editing and titling.I was hesitant every step of the way, wondering if all of this effort could possibly pay off. Then I realized, what did I really have to lose? I'd made them standalones, with only slight references to each other that could be removed very easily. So I just about guaranteed myself a possible sale--somewhere--even if it was small press. When the work was done, I was satisfied, and so was my agent, who said "I think we really have something hear."

I can remember J.K. Rowling penning (starting) Chamber of Secrets before her first book was picked up. Now that's MOXIE! Or call it blind faith. Not only that, it was her intention to write seven books! Look what happened to Twilight, Hunger Games, Wool, Divergent--they went on to success--becoming huge breakouts. 

Now that my YA trilogy is over, I mourn it. I miss my characters. Terribly so. I can't believe that I did this, stepping up to the plate and accomplishing my most difficult writing project ever.

If you have a series in mind, go for it! Don't let anybody stop you, and field those rejections for solid and valid comments. I think you will eventually sell. Even if you have to self-publish, I believe you will garner a much larger fan base with multiple books.

Good luck with your series. Press on, have faith and reap the rewards. 


  1. I just want to say I know how you feel. I am wrapping up a five-book fantasy series that has been well-received by those who've read it but has very few readers and no agent. There were plenty of times I asked myself why I was doing this, why was I spending so much time on something that might not ever go anywhere? The answer always was that I was enjoying myself and I really, really wanted to know how the story would end.

    Now it is ending and I feel sad because I'm going to miss those characters. But at least I had this time with them.

    Best of luck with your series! What is the name? I'll look for it?

    PS I followed you here from the Writer's Cafe.

  2. Thank you, Eric. Man, did you hit on the heart of the matter. But much more so with a five-book series. My God, I can't imagine it, and I know that hesitant feeling, wondering if it will ever bear fruit. Good luck to the both of us on these epic stories!!!

    My agent actually named my series. The first book was called Screamcatcher, and it was a standalone. Now here is the main series title and the subtitles:

    Dream Chasers: Web World
    Dream Chasers: Dream Snatchers (don't know if I like this
    Dream Chasers: The Shimmering Eye.

    What is your series titles? I hope we both sell large and in charge. It's just possible we might sell and be asked for a continuation of the series.

    I love Writers Cafe, and hearing about the success stories. I'm a hybrid--both SP and Traditional

  3. Hi Chris. When I took my first creative writing class in college, way back in the mid-80s, and I discovered the joy of telling a story, I told myself I was in it for the enjoyment and the minute it became something I disliked I'd quit doing it. I've tried to keep that as my guiding principle all these years. I've tried to always remember that so long as I enjoy the process I've already succeeded.

    I looked for some of the books in your bio up above and couldn't find them. Can you send me a link and I'll check them out?

    I agree with you on the title of the second book. It doesn't sound quite right. Titles almost always give me lots of trouble.

    My series is called The Devastation Wars and book 1 is Wreckers Gate. If it looks interesting let me know and I'll shoot you a digital copy. I also have a standalone thriller called Watching the End of the World and so far I've posted about half the chapters on my blog at

    I'm new at the Cafe but enjoying it. Writing is such a solitary business and I need to connect with other writers more.

  4. Totally awesome that you enjoy the craft first, and put everything else secondary. It's the right attitude to have in this business. I was originally published in 1987 through 1991, and did very well with non-fiction books. I started back again in 2005, and have published with the small press exclusively except for one SPed book--THE WAR GATE.
    Here's a link to my Amazon page:

    Or you can click on my name--Chris Stevenson, on the Amazon book bar.

    I love your title! You really hit on something there--it sounds wicked cool.

    I'll check out your site.

  5. I'm going to get one of your books. Which one do you recommend first?

  6. Hi, Eric. I'd recommend The Girl They Sold to the Moon. It's my latest. It also won first place grand prize in a YA novel writing contest. My numbers have been dropping on it, as well as just about every small press publisher out there.

    Could you drop the exact link where your website is? And what is your FaceBook link if you have one? We can keep in touch. Your series has got me interested.


  7. Hi Chris,
    Here's the link:
    Facebook for WG:

    I just remembered. I put all my books on my website a couple months ago as downloads for either Kindle, Apple or Nook. I got this software that allows me to offer the books and allow the purchaser to pay whatever they like for it, kind of like street artists where you pay if you like what they do. Anyway, if you could do me a favor? I'm not actually sure if what I set up works or not. Would you mind pulling down a copy of Wreckers Gate for me? Just put in a 0 price so it won't cost you anything. I need to know if there's any problems with the set up.

    I"m going to go check out the book. Both for myself and I have a couple of teenage readers in the house.

    Peace, Eric

  8. Congrats on finishing your series! And I will keep my fingers crossed that you get picked up by a publisher! :D

  9. Thank you, Brigid. I hope so too, and may your endeavors bare fruit!