Have you ever read a series that would have worked better as a single book? Or a standalone novel with untapped potential? When a story’s natural ending is ignored or overlooked, it can create an unsettling experience for readers. As indie authors, we don’t have agents to guide us on this matter, nor do we have publishing contracts that commit us to a particular direction. The decision is ours and ours alone. But how are we supposed to know if we’re making the right one?
Having written both a standalone novel and a series, this is something I’ve considered at length. From a business perspective, there are many advantages to writing a series. It can be easier to grow your fan base because loyal readers are more likely to buy additional titles, especially if you keep delivering the goods. Plus, many of the production and promotional activities that went into the first book can be leveraged for others that follow, so you’re not starting from square one.
While these benefits may sound appealing, not every story is destined to become a series. Forcing yours into the wrong container can have disastrous results. So, how do you know which path is the right one? Before you decide, consider these three questions: