Insight: Standalone Book or Book Series?

My readers have brought to my attention recently how much they have enjoyed Corona, The Three Safeties, and Vessel, and asked me if I have considered doing sequels to those stories. Truth to tell, after putting them out and promoting them (on Amazon), I had moved back to working on Parallax full time and not given them much thought.

It’s easy to sit there after chewing on a great story and ponder what new adventures await the characters and settings. Heck, I’ve done it myself. However, a lot of work goes into my stories and so, the possibility of sequels require some serious considerations.

When I sit down and prepare to write a story, I have to decide beforehand whether or not it will be a one and only story or the beginning of a series. Here are some of the things that I ponder when making the final decision:

1. Does the initial story establish enough of the world to expand upon? This is a big one because the story world often dictates where the recurring characters will go next.

2. Are there any unresolved issues from the initial plotline that can be expanded upon? I don’t like leaving plots hanging as a general rule, though I will admit to leaving just enough wiggle room for future installments.

3. Am I doing this for myself only or for the audience itself? That’s a balancing act, because although I do write for my own amusement first, I also publish and publishing involves creating material that entertains my audience and ultimately covering my writing expenses.

4. Do I have the time to invest in a series versus a multitude of standalone stories? Time is finite and what I invest in one story takes away from other potential material.

Granted, these are only four considerations, but they are significant enough to help me decide if the story I’m doing is a one-shot effort or a long term multi-installment commitment.

In the end though, the final decision rests with that mysterious tickler file inside my brain that tells me what story gets written before another.

Until next time….Ever Forward. 🙂

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