Seriously? A SERIES???
Greetings readers! My blogging prowess has been utterly lackluster in the weeks following the release of The Forgotten Ones, for which I apologize. Hopefully today's guest post redeems me in your eyes!
Anna Cruise has been writing and drooling over boys since middle school. Lots of years have passed but some things never change...
Did you just type The End on the manuscript you've been slaving over? Did you shed big, sloppy tears as you typed the final words of your denouement? Did you drag your feet—endlessly—while hammering out those last pages, simply because you didn't want to say goodbye to your characters?
Well, guess what?
You don't have to say goodbye. And you shouldn't say goodbye.
I know what you're thinking. Wait a minute. I just finished this goddamn book. What the hell is she talking about?
I'm talking series.
Right now, you're thinking: Uh, I wrote a stand-alone book.
I'm here to tell you there's no such thing. Every single book can be turned into a series. Every single one. And even if you wrote a book that you had no intention of continuing (like, you didn't put in one of those annoying cliffhangers...your book actually has an ending!!) the simple fact is that you can always continue the story. There is always a loose thread, a place to pick up, a new idea to explore with the characters you've gotten to know so well. It doesn't have to pick up where the previous book ended. It's not a straight continuation. Maybe it's a storyline that didn't get fully explored. Maybe it's a minor character that deserves a bigger story. Maybe it's a different point in time. But you can find that thread and weave it into something bigger.
Look, series sell. Big time. Readers want more stories. Because, just as you've gotten close to the characters you gave birth to, your readers have formed attachments to them, as well. I can't count how many reviews I've received where people mention how they wanted the story to go on, where they've actually docked me a star because they simply wanted more story. These characters become friends...friends that they don't want to let go of, you know?
So, should you write a series just to satisfy your readers? No. Because you'll benefit, too. Not simply in sales (do you know what the click-through factor is when you hyperlink the next book in your series in your e-book file? Me, either. But it's good.) but in reader loyalty, too. Your readers will become deeply invested in the stories you weave and that means they'll become pretty invested in you, too. Your fan base will grow, your interaction with your readers will grow (as long as you engage along with them) and your sales will absolutely grow, too.
There you go. Congrats on typing The End.
Now sit your ass back down and type Chapter 1.
To the next book in the series you didn't know you were going to write.
Because, trust me...your readers will want it.
I love reading series, even though it can be hard to wait for the next installment!
How do you feel about writing series?