Sequels Are Good For Writers

The other day I read this post from a blogger who had a serious problem with book sequels in YA. The blogger claimed to hate waiting for the next book in a series and would rather see a bunch of stand alone books from now until the end of time.

To this, I call shenanigans.

Getting stories published is tough business. In the three years I’ve been submitting short stories (I’ve been writing for about six) I’ve managed to get just three picked up. It’s that experience with loads of rejection that makes me totally down with writers selling as many books as they can, even if that means I have to wait a while to read a sequel. Plus, it gives me an excuse to read lots of books so as to never feel like I’m waiting for anything.

What’s your spin on this thing? Are you down with a good series, or are you more the one-book-wonder sort?


10 thoughts on “Sequels Are Good For Writers

  1. I love sequels, and when I like a series I’ll read all the books in it, then I usually follow that with any other series an author has written, biographies and wikies. When there are no series I’ll just go onto any other book the author has written, or the same genre, biography, wiki, etc. It’s like watching a good series on t.v. cant wait for the next installment.

    • I’m with you 100% on this one. If a book is good I’m actually pretty stoked when I find out there is a sequel because I get to read more about the characters that I’ve grown to love.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  2. If a series is really awesome I’ll be patient and wait; it’s fun…trying to guess what’ll happen next, keeping updated on the author’s blog, etc…

    (Readers just seem to complain a lot, not knowing how difficult it is to write and publish and all that other delightful stuff…)

    • Yes! Readers–and by “readers” I mean people who don’t write–are often ignorant of how difficult it is to write and sell fiction. Before I started my own book I read a whole bunch of interviews of authors who all swore that their first drafts were always garbage. Me, being the sometimes overconfident dude that I am, thought this was total shenanigans and figured that my first draft was bound to be the bee’s knees.

      I was sooooo wrong.

      Now that I’m into the first complete rewrite of my book I’s beginning to get a glimpse into the time and effort that goes into writing something that is worth reading.

      • Ohhh yeah…I know what you mean…my first novel was horrible. I’m so glad the agents rejected it. How far along into your rewrite are you? I had to scrap my entire project and start fresh, but the first novel was good practice and did improve my writing skills.

      • I’m 23,000 words into a 80-90,000 word goal. My first draft ended up being 120,000 words with way too many screwy things going on to even attempt a fix. I’m going much slower this time, taking notes as I go and trying to figure out where I want the chapters to go before I start hammering away at them.

  3. One of the reasons I like YA is because of all the series. I may be wrong because I have no actual figures, but I feel like adult novels are more often meant to stand alone while YA relies on at least 2 books to tell any story completely. I love that. If I don’t like the first one, then I don’t keep going. But if I do, then I am excited for all the books to come. I’ve read posts by people who comment on this like it’s a new trend, but I’d say 90% of what I read in middle and high school was series–and most of them were a helluva lot longer than the trilogies coming out now (Examples: The Fearless series was 20+ books, which was way too much. I gave up. Sweep by Cate Tiernan is 14 or 15. Fingerprints by Melinda Metz is 7).

    • My favorite series when I was a in junior high and high school was all the Star Wars expanded universe books. There are literally dozens of those things, going into even the most minor characters from the original trilogy. One of the coolest of the series was this short story collections called Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina that told the stories of all the minor characters in the bar where Luke and Obi Wan meet Han and Chewie. It’s got everybody from the “These aren’t the droids we’re looking for” Storm Trooper to the Bith band that is playing in the background. Good times, if you’re a nerd.

  4. I listened to a webinar where the literary agent was saying that specifically for sci-fi or fantasy YA series, they like it when the books can stand alone without needing to read from the beginning of the series. That way, from the business perspective, there’s a better chance at continuing to earn a larger following if people can jump in mid-series and still get it. But I’m a fan of series over stand alones, especially when the writing is good.

    • That make a lot sense from the point of view of an agent. It’s funny because there’s been times when I’ve read the second or third book in a series and the author is laying down background details that make me say, “Well, duh! I *already* know that.” I’m guessing those are parts that the agent or editor was pushing for so as to give the series-uninitiated some clues as to backstory.

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