16.7: To Series, or Not to Series

Your Hosts: Dan, Erin, Brandon, Howard

Let’s look a the business considerations of whether that thing you’re writing is a standalone story, or part of a series. The factors are complex, and a single factor (like, say distribution channel) isn’t likely to make the decision clear cut.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Marshall Carr, and mastered by Alex Jackson



Examine your favorite series. What were the questions asked in each installment, and in which installment were those questions answered?

The Saxon Chronicles, by Bernard Cornwell

4 thoughts on “16.7: To Series, or Not to Series”

  1. You didn’t mention what I thought of as the biggest reason for writing a series: the story I want to tell is too long to fit into one book. Did this never feature as an issue? Did you feel you could always shorten or lengthen your story as needed?

  2. In yet another episode of our continuing series, the four branded writers, Dan, Erin, Brandon, and Howard talked about how to decide whether to go for the long jump, with a series, or aim at a standalone, one-shot tale. From selling stories to editors to getting larger audiences, themed collections versus eclectic collections, and handling a long series (20 years!) all the way to artistic decisions versus business decisions, they raise lots of points you may want to consider. So, go read all about it in the transcript available now in the archives.

  3. Another major issue for what your series plans are is how many books you can actually manage to sell to a publisher. On 6 December 2019, FictionDB tweeted some author book statistics, including that that 57% of authors only publish 1 book and 81% of authors have 3 or fewer books published in the course of their writing careers. Some of that may just be the author quitting the industry or publishing under a different name, but it’s all too often that an author makes a debut that ends up under-performing and thus is not offered another book deal.

Comments are closed.