Indie authors – is writing that series the key?

Like most indie-authors I’m looking for the “secret of sales”.  How do I get the word out, how do I attract those followers I need.  And yes I know it’s not all about selling, at least not for me.  I enjoy the writing and I get a real kick out of people who tell me they’ve read my books and enjoyed them.  In many ways I just want more people to enjoy them and if I can make a little on the positive side of expenses:sales balance sheet that would be great.

So, I’ve read the blogs and the taken the courses.  I’ve paid for social media advertising and while I’ve had some success, so far, I admit, I’ve failed to recoup my investment.   However, the one thing I don’t have which many say is particularly important for the self-publishing author is that series.  This makes it more likely you’ll gain a following.  If someone likes the first book the chances are they’ll buy the second and third etc.  I know I do that.   I’m always looking for new authors and when I find a good one I’ll hunt out the rest of their books.  If it’s one of a series that’s even better, a further opportunity to engage with those characters I’ve loved.  I’ve read everything Raymond E Feiste has written.  I read many David Gemmell books back to back.  More recently I’ve read three Brian McClellan books and I am eagerly awaiting the next in the Powder Mage series.

So I’m now working on my ownseries.  In fact I have two in the pipeline.  And again, this is not only about selling more books.  Writing that series allows me to more fully explore those characters I have invested so much time in.  For the second and third books you’ve already got to know them and it’s a chance to expand and build on everything in that first book.

The first series I will release are follow-ups to my Inspector Kirby book about the Newcastle detective and some magical goings on in Northumberland.  The second and third books are connected stories.  I even have people eagerly awaiting their release.  The other series are follow-ups to the first book I published.  In this case the books follow-on, developing the original story.   I always intend this to be a series and have had books two and three written for some time.  I’m not sure why I haven’t published them.  Looking back I think I needed to write the other books first, to establish my style and to experiment with my writing before I felt confident to commit to a series.  It was also perhaps, in the case of Kirby, about finding the right characters that would inspire those follow-on adventures

The other big advantage to having those series is of course in the marketing.  You have the option to offer the first for free to entice readers.  You can also use the first to build your e-mail list which is the one thing virtually all writing bloggers and “gurus” agree is an essential part of becoming successful.  I just need to decide how to get the most out of having these series in my locker.  Perhaps with two I can afford to experiment.

As a writer I am enjoying creating those series of stories and finding out where my characters are headed.  I already have ideas for Inspector Kirby beyond the two follow-ups in the pipeline.  I also have ideas for a follow-up to another of my books.  All I need now is the time to write them.

As always comments are welcome,

Ian Martyn

Author: Ian Martyn

Science Fiction Writer

2 thoughts on “Indie authors – is writing that series the key?”

  1. From a reader’s perspective I want to know that what I’ve getting into is only a fraction of the whole. The promise of a deeper, more varied and complex universe that I can return to over and over for years to come really does it for me.

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