I'm very excited to be part of The Indelibles Indie Life series. These posts run on the second Wednesday of every month and include ideas and articles from a wide variety of indie authors. Check out the links below to learn more about INDIE LIFE.
I have been published since 2011 and it has not taken me long to figure out that in this game, writing series and sequels is the way to go. I have seven books published now with another one due for release in August and looking back over my stats, my trilogy is the strongest seller by far.
It makes sense though, doesn't it? Readers invest their time in these characters, get to know them, fall in love with them. Of course they are more likely to buy another book involving these people. It's a great way to develop a lasting readership or build a fan base. Speaking as a reader, I don't like saying goodbye to characters I fall in love with and it's fun watching them grow throughout a series.
From a writers viewpoint, it's great business. You can put the first book on sale, or free, and this leads to subsequent sales for the rest of the series. I have found this to be hugely successful for me, which is why I decided to go for rapid fire releases with my second trilogy. The first two books are already out - Unknown in June and Unseen in July. The 3rd book - Unleashed - is due out in August. I am then going to spend my marketing budget in September. That's when I'll run some sales, pay for some advertising, do a blog tour, etc. Once the readers can access all three books quickly. I have never done this before and am really interested to analyze it all at the end and see how it's paid off.
If you're anything like me, you have a million stories in your database and new ideas constantly popping into your head. Writing series takes staying power. I am always tempted to keep releasing new stuff, stand alone stories, but I am curbing that desire for now. Sure, I'll still do the odd stand alone, but from the results I've seen in my own writing, they will never take off as well as my series.