Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Series Books

Let's face it, series books are hot nowadays. It seems every author under the sun has a series. Heck, I have three of them. B*E*A*S*T*, Legends and Hearts. But why? What is this need for more and more books within a certain world you've created?

Is it the selfish author who cannot really say goodbye to their characters? Or the readers who want to know what happens to the characters after the happy ending? Are series books something that is expected now? If a certain secondary character catches your eye, you REALLY REALLY want a book for him (or her) and beg, plead, and otherwise cajole your favorite author to write one for them.

There are two types of series books. The first is a series that covers one plot over many books. You might have the same protagonists and the same antagonists throughout. The second is a spin-off series, stand alone books about umpteen secondaries who just happen to be in your same world.

It would seem the spin-off books are the most popular, because readers don't necessarily want to read your series in order. They want books that can stand alone, more bang for their buck, I suppose.

So what is it, exactly, that readers and/or authors find compelling with a series? I think most authors I know write them, whether they be full series or spin-off series. But do readers really want to invest in a trilogy, quadrilogy, pentilogy (is that even a word?!? lol)? Or do readers want the single title stand-alone books?

Authors, what is your take on this? Readers, what is yours? I know series can sometimes be a big investment, and I even know at least one of my readers who is collecting my fantasy series books before she reads so she can read them straight through. However, it seems as if everyone under the sun is writing series these days. Do you find it daunting? Do you just want a single title? Or are you rooting for Joe-Bob Dalton to get his own book one of these days?

(Who thinks Aslan (above) is one of the coolest, sweetest, and awesomest (lol) characters in series fiction *aside from Mynos, of course* :P)


At 9:02 AM , Blogger Donica Covey said...

I don't know. I know that I love a good series, I get curious to know what is going on in the lives of my secondary characters. Julie Miller got me hooked on series books. Kansas City's Finest, The Taylor clan, excellent books! (No need to send money Julie, just a few copies of your latest releases will suffice LOL)

As I'm currently working in a series of three books I have to say series books are great.

Some series books need to stand alone, I know that. I just happen to enjoy the one I'm working on that is a chronology of events. You can read them as srand alone, but they make more sense and flow easier when read in succession.

Nice topic Becka. Oh the pic of Aslan ROCKS!


At 9:05 AM , Blogger Sandra said...

I love both types of series.

I love a plotline that continues with new main characters, with scenes of old ones, furthering a world in which I've fallen in love with. (J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood or Jacqueline Frank's The Nightwalkers. A series where you can't just pick up right in the middle and not want to go back to previous books to get the full experience.

Then I also like the series where it doesn't matter where you start, each book is different and you don't *have* to go back and read previous books.

But I prefer books that are plot connected. It doesn't matter to me how many books are in the series, since I feel that each one is new and exciting.

(And I feel as if I made no sense whatsoever from my ramblings above. hehe)

At 9:40 AM , Blogger Kat Hall said...

Hi Becka:

For me it gives closure on all the characters. Just one book and you are left hanging and wanting to know what is going to happen to the others. It also gives added interest in buying the other books.

There are some that have been 3 in a series and I have only found 2 of them. Of course, it was the first one of the series that I could not find.

At 2:44 PM , Blogger phylis_s_2000_2001 said...

It seems that a lot of my favorite books are parts of series. I don't know if that has just happened or not. The two series that come to mind off the top of my head are the Dark series by Feehan and the Anita Blake by Hamilton. The Dark series doesn't have to be read in order but makes more sense if you do. In those she has different characters as the main but sometimes characters you have read about before show up. The Anita Blake series is more of here are your central characters, here is what is happening to them but it's gonna take a few books to get everything worked out. lol Phylis


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