Thursday, November 19, 2015

Stand Alone Book or Series?

I've recently come upon a question that isn't always easy to answer. The question? Is it better to publish a stand alone book or a series?

For a few years I thought the series answer would win - hands down, but I met a woman at my last signing who was relieved that one of my books - was not. "I feel as if I'm being strung along to the next book," she said. We talked about series books that don't really end but keep you hanging until the next book and the simplicity of producing only one book with an entire story within.

It was refreshing. Sort of like meeting someone for the first time, spending key moments with them, and allowing them to go about their lives without you.

But there's an interesting thing about stand alone books - they are often a harder sell. The series, well, there are so many readers who don't want to leave the main character and the thought of continuing in their life is like having a great friend who is with them through thick and thin.

According to one survey, 82 percent of readers prefer books in a series to 18 percent who prefer stand alone's.

What does that mean for authors?

Book 1
Book 2

Book 3
As I look at my own published books I have only one stand alone book. The rest are in a series - my mystery series and my Parable series. Another book comes out every January - updated with the newest ideas for marketing, and another is matched with a workbook, so I guess I was following the trend without really knowing it.

There may be a time when people are literally tired of the series run and just want a good read without having to pick up another book to see what else happens with the main character, but for now, keep writing those series books. It's what folks like - and buy.

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