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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Do You Love Series?

Anthology or Series? This was one I participated in from 2015. Short run but very successful.
Sharon Hamilton here. I have a question for you. We'd love to hear from you, both as a reader and as a writer.


Do you love to binge read? Are you a series lover? I know I am. So, in your opinion, what makes a great series? What is it that makes you pick up that Book 1 and go non-stop until you finish them all?

If I love the author's voice, I can binge read for two days straight. In the case of an anthology, again, I remember that this is a smorgasboard of tastes and styles, and I may not love every one of them, but I usually find several that are worth my time and money. As an author, it's a great way to get discovered, especially when your genre or your pen name is new. As a reader, it's an inexpensive way to find new authors you can then go on to follow, especially if the work is new.

Here are some elements I think a great series should contain. But we'd love to hear what you think.

1. Either the same character is the hero throughout the whole series, or is in every book in the series, sometimes the hero changing per book. And, you can bundle them for an additional way to release to the readers. The files are big, but we love our super readers, don't we? Audio bundles sell the best in my book.

2. There is a common theme, such as "Bad Boys" or "Bachelors", but the mini-series is part of an overall arc within the author's genre. Sometimes some characters appear more often. Many times, these are the ones readers like, and have told the author about why they wanted to see them again.

3. Without doing cliffhangers (some authors do this successfully), at the end of the first book, you are compelled to read the second one. Each book sells and draws traffic to the other books in the series. In the case of a multi-author series like the one below, the call to action is different for each book, but the setup is the same, so readers get to see how the new author in the series will handle the call.

New multi-author series starting 1/15/19

4.  Creates reader engagement. Don't you love seeing your favorite characters on TV? Aren't you sad when the series is over? Look at the success of the Outlander books - all over 1000 pages long! Something that was said couldn't be done! But we can't get enough of Jamie and Claire, can we?

So what about you? If you are a reader and have questions, either I or one of my RB4U sisters will be happy to chime in. This post is for everyone. What do you love about series? Why? What is it that you look for in a good series, say, with a new author?

And for authors, do you keep a series Bible like I do? How do you keep track of all the kids, eye colors, wedding dates and names of parents and exes? What do you love about doing a series, either multi-author or a set of your own?

Thank you again for showing up today. We'd really love to hear from all of you, authors and readers alike!


Debby said...

I do enjoy series and have been known to binge. I do not like cliff hangers as it is often a long time before the next book and I get so frustrated I lose interest.
debby236 at gmail dot com from FL

Sharon Hamilton said...

I am the same way. I don't like to write cliffhangers either, and I don't like to read them. Now, if I write a good excerpt in the back of the book, that leads to the next one, that's fair, right?

But your comment is what I thought most readers would say. And I'm glad!

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