You’ve probably noticed that I mostly write in series. It’s not that I dislike standalone novels, I love ’em, but for the past few years I’ve focused on The Hunger and Asher Benson. There are two reasons for that.
The first is a creative one. I like the characters in both series and I wanted to see them on more adventures. The world I’ve built around them is ripe for tons of stories. Over time, I’m fleshing out some of those. It’s been a lot of fun.
This isn’t without its pitfalls, though. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep the stories from seeming too similar. The characters can tend to bleed into each other or go off in a direction I didn’t expect. Characters will die unexpectedly, I’m a pantser after all, and it screws up any plans I might have had for the next book.
Still, it’s fun writing about characters you love over 3 or more books. I’m starting book 6 in The Hunger next week. Pretty cool.
The second reason I switched to writing in series is financial.
Single novels are more difficult to advertise than a series. Let’s say I wanted to promote The Gate, The Dark, and West of Hell. To push those books, I have to buy advertising on all three. That’s a bit of a pain in the ass. Not impossible, by any means, but it’s more work.
If I want to promote Asher Benson? All I have to do is buy ads on ASH. The rest of the books get a bump from that over time. As readers finish the first book, a certain percentage go on to the next. I can predict, to a pretty accurate degree, how many readers will go from ASH to Madness.
The same applies for The Hunger.
And when I release a new book in the series I get a nice boost in sales on the earlier books. Dropping a novel can bring in some nice income from stuff I published years earlier.
Again, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Because only a certain percentage of readers make it through the entire series, I might not make as much money from the advertising. Pushing three single novels might pull in more cash. It’s more work too, so pick your poison.
I have found that I get more die hard readers from my series though. People who really love Lance and Cass will buy anything I put out in The Hunger. Someone who enjoyed The Dark? They might not bother with Asher Benson.
Another issue is that followers of one series might not jump to the next. While there are a lot of crossover readers from The Hunger to Asher Benson, and vice versa, more than you might guess don’t make the transition. Pick more of your preferred poison.
So what should you write? Whatever you makes you happy. For me, I make more money writing in a series that I love. That being said, after I release book 6 in The Hunger, I’m writing a standalone thriller that will hopefully release by the end of October. If that takes off, who knows what could be on the horizon.
Today, I edited 3 chapters in Decayed. They were long chapters, so I covered a lot of ground.
See ya tomorrow.