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Monday, 10 November 2014

Writing a series in one go; yay or nay?

As a reader I am always eager for the next book in a series that I love, and although my impatient side really wants the author to complete the book and release it, I also love the build-up for the books release. As sad as it sounds it means I always have something to look forward to.

As an author, I now understand the excitement and pressure in writing the next book and having it ready for its allotted release. Firstly, I want to say that I don't feel under pressure for getting the next book in the Blood Series done. I'm very lucky and grateful that those of you have have read either or both She-Wolf and Cranberry Blood have enjoyed it, and seem to be excited to read the next instalment, which is really awesome and makes me very happy.

The pressure and excitement I feel now I am writing the untitled Book Two is from myself and the sheer knowledge that a fair amount of time has passed between me finishing She-Wolf - which I wrote after Cranberry Blood - and this next book. The main reasons for that are a) trouble with the original publisher who had both books. After Cranberry was released things started going downhill and I just thought, "no, I'm not even writing the second book until I have the rights back for these two and can self-publish them." At the time I actually thought I would be waiting a very long time until I got my rights back, but actually it was a year. And b) I'm not one of those authors that write series in one go. I know that a lot of authors don't do that. They do one book either a year, or they will write and release a book in a series and have something completely different in the works.

Well, I'm starting to see the appeal of writing a series in one go. Writing each book. Finishing the entire series, and then releasing them one at a time over the course of so many months. To know that the book is there and ready for release and you have books to release while working on new projects.

It seems like a good idea. Time has passed and I find myself questioning what I am writing. All authors do that no matter what they are writing, but I suppose the biggest benefit will be that you are already completely immersed in the universe you are writing that perhaps everything will flow; rather than having a couple months to a years break and having to refresh yourself with it all again.

What do you think authors? Do you prefer to write a book at a time, taking breaks in between to write different stories? Or do you like to work on a series as a whole and have it completed and done?

I don't know if that is what I am planning to do with the rest of the books in the Blood Series. It seems like a good plan because it actually has been four years since I last worked on the series, and I really would like to complete it because a) I know some of you have been waiting a long time for it to continue, and b) I would like to see what happens next, c) this series is my baby and I would love to see it completed because d) I have other worlds I so want to dive into, and another series I also need to re-release and finish.

So, I can't make any promises because I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. All I know is that Blood Book Two will be complete and releasing next year, and I really hope you will all enjoy it. :)


  1. I thank you for raising these questions about writing in a series. I have only the first book out of 6 published in my Eve’s Amulet series, and the 2nd book is half-way written. The galley proof of my YA horror story is going through its process right now with the publisher, and then I’m in line to wait for the release date.

    I had the chance to speak with a bestselling novelist who made my decision to keep writing on the series with short breaks in between. (I need short breaks to walk away from the work to refresh my vision of the work and to be able to see the errors more clearly.) The woman I spoke with said, “When you read a really good story, don’t you want to go out right away and buy the next book in the series?” My answer was ‘Yes, of course.’

    I read the first Potter book and bought the next three and waited painfully for each of the next books to be released. So good were they that I bought all the hard copies, and even stood in line with 800 people at midnight waiting to purchase a couple of them.

    I think this is why we keep writing a series as a continual process, so that our readers don’t forget the storyline and remain interested. When I read Divergent, I had to wait forever for Insurgent to come out. By then, I had forgotten all the details and when I had the time, I went online to read a synopsis of Divergent to remember what happened. By then, the second book had been out for well over a year. I have as yet to purchase Allegiant and I think that’s because I know I can ‘catch up’ with the story by going online for the synopsis. Had Insurgent been readily available, I would have purchased it.

    I don’t think I could work on a whole series at one shot without working on other books in between only because I have to step away from my work to gain that fresh perspective I already mentioned. I keep notes and refresh my memory from time to time on the story, plot, characters, etc. Although I “dream” my books, I still have to put in the details, but thank goodness for an active imagination.

    Right now I have about 6 completed drafts of stand-alone novels that need a lot of polishing, including a non-fiction work that is emotionally challenging to write. (I’m about ½ way through that.)
    I hope my input is helpful to whoever might read this.

    Thank you for the opportunity. I wish you continued success in your writing career.

    Now, here’s a question to you, if you don’t mind: Do you believe that sales naturally increase with the rise in the number of books you have published, therefore eliminating the need for as much promotion with later books? Thank you!

    Sincerely, Carole Avila

  2. "Now, here’s a question to you, if you don’t mind: Do you believe that sales naturally increase with the rise in the number of books you have published, therefore eliminating the need for as much promotion with later books? Thank you!"

    Sales do increase, but so does the amount of (more organised) promo you need to do. If you don't keep on top of your promotion, sales will fall again. And remember to keep promoting your backlist as well. Even celebrities never stop promoting themselves, and the ones that do cut back on it, do tend to get forgotten until the next film is out and the promo goes sky-high again ;) HOWEVER ... if you want to keep your sanity and health, don't let the promo take over your life, as it so easily can do when your books are paying the bills. Good luck with your writing! xx

  3. I'm very sorry for my late reply. I thought that this would be a normal week, but due to a leak through my roof the last four days have been spent on the phone and generally having a good old stress. So I do apologize that it has taken me so long to get back to you.

    In reply to your question, well Dianna has summed it up very nicely, and I do agree. Sales can fluctuate, but they do slowly increase with each book that comes out, but promotion never stops, not really. You will notice that in the swirl of promo your sales will be great, fantastic even, once your promo calms, so do the sales. Or at least that is what I have noticed with mine.

    So promo is they key and something you must be steady with, but like Dianna has said don't let it consume your life, because it can take up a lot of your time. So always try to be organized.

    The best piece of advice I received when I first got published was that the best form of promo is to just keep writing and publishing your stories; build a back list, because if a reader likes one of your books they may like some of your others.

    Thank you for replying to my question. I have to say that I don't think I could write a series in one go; one book after the other after the other, but then again, maybe I could. The difference for me is simply that there has been a two year gap between writing the first book and writing the second in this series, but as I explained in my post it was due to the situation with the publisher who had the books at the time, and with not knowing when or if I would get my rights back. If I had to wait for a few years, well, I wanted the books back so I could self-publish them. So, it just made sense for me - at the time - to hold off writing the next book.

    I think I could very well take a gap and write something else in between the books in my series, because yes, I think it is good to give your mind a rest and then go back to the world and rediscover it again. But I plan to see how I feel once I have finished the second book - which I am already writing - if I feel I can continue straight away, I will. If not, well I have a ton of other projects in my slush pile folder. So I'm sure I will find something to work on lol

    Good luck with your writing, and I wish you much success with your books. :) xx