Creating a series can boost your author career and simplify your novel writing. You’ll create benefits as a writer and increase your marketing power. Read on to discover the full benefits of writing a series.
Benefits to Your Writing
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time you write a new novel when you create a series. Instead, the hard work you put in creating the first story and its world will lay a sound foundation for the next books in the series.
Your protagonist, his friends and antagonists all exist. You can reuse and enhance background details in subsequent novels.
All the places, homes, streets, hills, valleys and everything in the story’s world are ready for you. In subsequent books you may add details, but the main world is created.
Because you are familiar with the main characters and the world, your writing can focus on the story plot points of each new novel.
Develop your characters and themes over time. Each book in the series is an opportunity to expand your character and develop their ongoing story with new twists and revelations.
Seeding plot points
Plant seeds in one book to develop in another book in the series
Creating background information for a novel is hard work. Creating a character bible requires detailed information on all the main characters and moderate background information on the supporting characters.
In a series, your hero and their regular supporting characters are already done. You just need to add the new characters for each novel.
Giving readers a sense of place is integral to using your setting. When you create the world for your first novel, you can move around that same world in your subsequent novels. It’s familiar territory.
As your create your series, you’ll find that the groundwork you lay in that first novel makes writing the following novels faster and easier.
Benefits to Marketing
Most authors do not enjoy marketing. There are a few, but in the main, the idea of marketing is not something that brings a smile to an author’s face. Creating a series doesn’t eliminate the marketing tasks but the rewards are manifold.
Publishers Like Book Series
If you work with traditional publishers, they are eager to find authors who write and produce a series. Publishing is a business and more books mean more sales. An author who can produce multiple books increases the likelihood of generating income for the business. A series demonstrates that you are committed to consistent production.
Everyone wins. More books create more sales.
Presence in Your Niche
Several books in a series shows you are an established writer in your category. When readers shop online for books, they see that your book series has a presence in the category for type of book they like.
You build credence with readers that you are not a novice, but an established author. Readers are more likely to recognize and remember your name.
Your Author Brand
As an author, you are a business entity. A book series identifies your brand. Your author presence is associated with your book series. And in the age of search engines and algorithms it makes your author brand more recognizable whether on big retailers like Amazon with their own internal algorithms or the big daddy of search engines, Google.
Readers can find you and connect your name with the genre of your book series. That’s a huge plus.
More Book Sales
Publishing more books increases your sales. Those sales increase your income. With a backlist of books, readers have more choices to continue buying books you write.
If a reader buys a book in your series and likes it, they are likely to purchase other books in the same series. Some avid readers will buy every book at once when they see an author with a series. You make those readers happy when you create more books.
Sales of additional books in your series from a buyer reading one of your books and wanting more is called read through. Read through purchases are a sign that readers like your books. The more they read, the more they buy. It’s one of the biggest financial benefits of creating a book series.
Create More Books from Your Books
You can create one big book as a collection or book bundle. If you have six books in a series, you can bundle the first three into one book and the second three into another and sell those bundle books to readers. It’s an easy sell when buyers can purchase several of your novels at a price that is a bit less than buying each book individually.
Essentially, you create another product for your author business to sell without additional writing.
Grow Your Fan Base
As you write more books and more people discover you as an author, your fan base grows. Your super fans can’t wait for your next book. They will buy the book as soon as it is released. They also perform that invisible marketing called word of mouth. They tell their friends and post about reading your new book on social media. They do marketing for you because they love what you write.
A Solid Author Foundation
With all the benefits, writing a series builds a solid foundation for your author career. As you write each book in the series, you refine your writing skills.
- You build a strong understanding of your main characters
- You become skilled at creating a plot that meets your genre’s tropes
- Familiarity with the writing process means you’ll write faster
- You build a backlist that engages readers
- You learn how to create a timeline that encompasses all the books in the series
A book series is a challenging for writers. A series takes dedication and commitment beyond “having an idea for a book.” But, if you are serious about creating an author career, a series can kick-start your author business.
Tips for Creating a Series
Because writing a series takes commitment and fortitude, you can help your series creation with planning. Thinking through the overview will help you create a series with consistent character action, plot, and themes.
- Start with a strong protagonist, one that readers will follow through thick and thin through every book. Your protagonist’s habits and ideals are key to keeping readers engaged.
- Know the timeline of the series. Readers will spot discrepancies. They know your world almost as well as you do.
- Keep the characters but make each story unique. Even if you are writing a big story that encompasses several books (a serial), resolve minor issues in each book of the series.
- Grow your characters throughout the series. Add more details. Reveal more deep character traits.
- Stay consistent. Don’t genre hop within a series. If you want more adventure or romance, create a new series with different characters.
Once you have your overview, start writing the first book. Grow your author brand.
Once you finish that first book in the series, ProWritingAid will help you polish your prose to make your series readable. Readers will get into the story without stopping to think about misspellings or grammar errors.