|Posted by Kristen Hamilton on May 8, 2018 at 11:50 AM|
I’ve often written about how the most prolific authors are those who have written many books. In the world of self-publishing, this is especially true. Almost all authors who have risen to the top of Amazon bestsellers lists have one thing in common: they’ve built up a massive following by publishing many, many books.
But don’t take my word for it. To prove my point, I interviewed my client Lou Paduano, whose Greystone book series has become more and more popular with each new book he releases.
My original goal for this mini blog series was to encourage self-publishing authors to write a book series. But as Lou and I talked, I realized this couldn’t just be a simple blog. Lou’s answers made me realize that for the serious, die hard self-publishing author, writing a book series is the only way to carve out a name for yourself in this saturated industry.
I’ve been working professionally as a book editor since 2012, during which time I’ve edited over 300 books by dozens and dozens of authors. Different genres, different writing styles, different marketing tactics. What’s the one thing that my most successful clients have in common? They’ve written many books, or a series of books.
And while many of my clients who have created a series of books have been successful, Lou is one of my most established clients—having published four books in the Greystone collection. (In fact, book 5 is on my editing desk right now!) He’s still relatively new to the world of self-publishing, but readers are noticing him. Lou’s books, for example, have seemed to do better than average new self-publishing authors, getting an immediate high number of 4- and 5-star reviews within just a few days or weeks of publishing.
In the world of self-publishing, book series tend to do better than single books. But why?
Reason #1: Readers get invested in a series and keep purchasing the next book whenever it’s available.
This is obviously great news for the author, as it increases his or her fan base and provides steady sales. While a single, stand-alone book can be fun for readers, there’s something special about seeing a character as he or she faces many battles, overcomes various obstacles, and grows as a person in the process.
What’s the allure to writing a book series as opposed to a single book?
Lou: For me, there is nothing better than building a series. I’ve always been a television guy over a movie guy and I am a dedicated comic book fan. I love the season long arc compared to the 2 hour beginning, middle and end. Serial fiction is how I grew up. Superman fought the never-ending battle with a new chapter dropping every week at my local comic book store during my youth.
What a great way to get involved in a character’s life! As a book editor and an avid reader, I know more than anybody that readers can develop real feelings about characters in a book. Reading a book takes hours—which means that readers have the time to follow a character’s life, the obstacles he or she faces, and share the emotional journey through to the end. It’s no wonder that readers often feel deflated or depressed when they finish a book.
But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Writing a series, in which readers follow the same set of characters, allows readers to build and nurture a deeper relationship with those they read about.
And this doesn’t mean that a series has to be boring. Just like catching up for coffee with an old friend, readers find that reading about the adventures of a story’s protagonist can and always will be exciting—as long as you, the author, follow the steps to create an exciting and engaging series of books.
Lou: Subplots, twists and turns, everything I love about fiction can be found in the series format rather than a standalone novel, film, graphic novel, etc. I simply find series writing much more fulfilling on every level.
Want to learn more about how to build your author brand
and become a self-publishing pro?
Book editor Kristen Hamilton is the owner and sole employee of
Kristen Corrects, Inc., where she provides manuscript editing
services for traditionally and self-publishing authors. Several
authors whose books she has edited have won awards and have
Reading is Kristen's passion, so when the workday is over, she
can usually be found curled up with a good book alongside her
four cats. She loves watching cat videos and scary movies,
eating pizza, teaching herself French, and traveling, and she is
likely planning her next vacation. She lives outside of Boise, ID.