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Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7: Selling Writer Strategies, #7

Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7: Selling Writer Strategies, #7

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Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 7: Selling Writer Strategies, #7

83 pages
1 hour
Mar 7, 2019


Want to sell more fiction with every book you write?

You can, when you write series fiction. 
Your audience loves to binge on entertainment, whether it's a series on a streaming service, or a series of books. 
Even if your first novel in the series is a slow seller, chances are that the pace of sales will pick up with each new novel.

Plan and write: start your series with confidence

I've written many series, both for myself in several genres, as well as for my ghostwriting clients. 
Until I decided that I'd plan a series, as a series, I always struck problems. 
It's taken me several years (I'm a slow learner) to pick up some tricks and strategies which ensure that each new series will work for me.

These strategies include:

* Planning the series with an over-arching plot for the entire series;
* Ensuring that I like the series' characters, and that I create basic conflicts which work;
* Ending each novel on a cliffhanger;
* And many more. 

Initially, I developed this series-writing plan for myself, because I realized that it was necessary. Then I began to teach it to my coaching students. It works for them, so now it's tested, you can use the plan too.

Start planning your new series today.

Mar 7, 2019

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Planning And Writing A Hot-Selling Series - Angela Booth


Introduction: series fiction is popular

You're writing a novel. Could you turn it into a series?

Series fiction has benefits. If your series takes off, you'll sell more books. Then because the algorithms reward success, the online retailers will help you to sell even more.

So, if you want to write a book that's like a snowball, that sells more and more copies with each passing month and year, consider a series. Each new novel in the series helps to sell the others. Readers who enjoy the world you've created can look forward to revisiting that world again and again.

Some series sell for decades. Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot and Miss Marples series have doubtless sold more copies in the 21 st century than they did while their author was alive.

I'm sure you have your own favorite series, whether you enjoy Sherlock Holmes, or more recent series, like the Hunger Games, or Harry Potter. Some genres lend themselves to series: fantasy fiction, mystery and thrillers, and children's fiction.

If you check out Amazon's bestseller lists, you'll find that Amazon has a special bestseller list for series. You'll see many genres on the list. The list changes rapidly, because Amazon updates its lists frequently — some lists are updated hourly.

At the time of writing, the genres in Amazon's bestselling series included:

* Science fiction;

* Psychological thrillers;

* Historical fiction;

* Horror fiction;

* Detective fiction;

* Techno thrillers;

* Romance…

This broad list reveals that genre doesn't matter. Indeed, you may decide to create your own genre for your series. We'll look at genres for series shortly.

A common question: how many books in a series?

The answer is: it's up to you. I write romance, plus mystery and suspense. In romance, it's common for major publishers to commission trilogies — an author is commissioned for a series of three romances at a time.

This can be a trap. I wrote a trilogy of time travel romances a few years back. It's popular, and I've often wished that I hadn't plotted the series as a trilogy — that I'd left the series open-ended.

However, a trilogy has benefits, because a trilogy:

* Is easy to plot;

* Cliffhangers are simple to create;

* It's easy to maintain your enthusiasm;

* Promotion is simpler — you can lower the price of the first novel, to pull people into the series. Then you'll get a good read-through. With one of my trilogies, I consistently lose money promoting the first novel, but I know that I'll more than make it up on novels #2 and #3, because the read-through is 85%. (Apropos of which, a promotions tip: when promoting series, heavily promote the first novel, to draw readers in);

* If/ when your trilogy stops selling well, you can create a bundle, and call it good.

Some series have dozens of books. Ed McBain's 87th Precinct Series of police novels, for example, ran from 1956 to 2005, and has 54 novels, plus many short stories.

So, when you're contemplating your series, do what feels comfortable to you. If you're a new author, and have yet to write a novel, aiming to write a trilogy may be easier than contemplating creating a ten-novel series.

Now let's look at choosing a genre for your new series.


Your new series: choosing a genre

Genre is another way of saying category.

In fiction, choosing a genre is important, because for your novels to sell, readers need to be able to find them.

With 5 million ebooks in Amazon's Kindle Store alone, genres help readers to find the books they want to read

Genre classifications help readers to find what they want to read. They also help authors to write books that readers enjoy.

Some new authors ignore genre. This makes it very hard for these new authors to sell books, because most readers, especially voracious readers, prefer specific genres.

It's worth spending time thinking about the genre that your new series will be in, because of the way the online retailers work. Amazon offers readers genres that they've read in the past. So, if you add your novels to inappropriate genres, readers who would love your books will never see them.

For example, I enjoy mystery fiction, as well as historical fiction. Because I often buy books in these genres, Amazon offers me new releases and other books I might not have read in those genres.

But if I want to read science fiction, I need to hunt those books — Amazon won't offer me any science fiction until I’ve purchased or borrowed least one book in the genre.

I'm sure that there many books I'd love to read, but I'll never find them, because their authors have placed them in inappropriate genres.

To write in a genre, analyze it first, so that you know what readers of that genre want.

Analyzing Mystery, Thriller & Suspense — how to do an analysis

Amazon lumps these three genres together. There tends to be an overlap of readers in this genre, so that makes sense. However, when you're writing, choose to write either a mystery, a thriller, or a suspense novel.

Download three books from this genre. Read all three.

Choose one book, and

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