Okay, today some clear, tough-love news about why authors drop certain series. And this is true both with trad and indie authors, but–indie authors usually have more leeway to see how things go.
I’ve seen a lot of people day “I’m going to wait till the series is complete to buy it.” This factors in. AND…sometimes, no matter how good a series is, it’s just not what the author’s audience wants and the author doesn’t realize that until they’re into the series, or the author doesn’t realize they should have marketed it differently. So it doesn’t sell.
Now, in the first case, I have to tell readers: if you don’t buy the books as they come out, the author and/or publisher will look at sales, and they just can’t justify finishing the series. As an indie author, we can wait a little longer but after it’s obvious the series isn’t selling, we just can’t afford the time to write something we can’t pay bills with. So if you LOVE a series, do what you can to support it, because…well…it may not progress.
In the second place, and this is a big factor: sometimes we try to write something outside our usual genre and it won’t sell. Not all readers are going to read every thing you write just because your name’s on it. I am lucky to have a number of readers who do that, but even they weren’t enough to save Bewitching Bedlam and Fury Unbound from that fate. And Indigo Court, well…since I put it out again, sales have been in the toilet, to be blunt. Fury sells better than Bedlam which sells better than ICourt, but…none of the three sell enough to justify me writing more at this point. I really wanted to explore post apocalyptic, but a number of my readers weren’t into that. And I wanted to have some fun and write a light hearted series, but a WHOLE LOT of my readers didn’t find their way to it. And it’s not me blaming readers–we all have our preferences, and I went too far outside my genre. There are other genres I’d love to explore, but I’m very leery because…well…the bank wants the mortgage. I’m really happy that I at least love the genres I write that do sell.
Wild Hunt, on the other hand, and Moonshadow Bay? They’re selling really well. And while I need to wrap up the main Wild Hunt series (too many books in a series daunts new readers), trust me, I’m NOT leaving the Wild Hunt series behind (more news on Wednesday!). I’m also going to write more Moonshadow Bay books than I expected to, because my readers seem to love the series, it’s gaining new readers, and I enjoy writing it.
Anyway, why do most series die on the vine? Pretty much summed up by: Can’t earn a living on them.
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9 thoughts on “Why Some Series Die on the Vine”
Your books always have great plots and greater writing. I’ve bought your books whenever my budget allowed and always encourage the library to buy them, too. That said, I love the Bedlam series but agree that it would probably be a better fit in a different niche market. (It’s much more serious than the “fun-loving romp” that the marketing seems to promise.) Thanks for all your books!
Do you think it’s more serious than most witch comedies? Somehow I didn’t see that–maybe you’re right…my ‘light’ tends to be darker than most writers. And my ‘serious/heavy’ tends to be VERY serious and dark.
I really enjoyed Fury and Bedlam series as well as the Indigo Court though that was a tad darker than I normally enjoyed but found it interesting. I totally understand why authors don’t finish a series especially if the sales just don’t back it up. I love your work so you are my auto buy anytime you have a new release.
I love Fury, but Bedlam didn’t really warm me up. However, I have made up my mind to try the series again when I’m in a different mood, as that sometimes makes a lot of difference to me.
It really can. I find that with movies too. What I can’t get into at one time, I can easily enjoy later. Sometimes, though, it’s just a ‘no, this just isn’t for me’ with some books and movies.
I LOVED Fury and the Bewitching Bedlam series. I wish you could write more on both, but I do completely understand the financials of it. You can’t spend time on series that Do Not Sell.
I also LOVE the Wild Hunt and Moonshadow Bay series, so I am happy you can continue to write them.
Thank you for the work you put in to write such lovely works.
Honestly, Fury was an experiment and it’s much harder for me to write. I do love the series, but it was a lot more difficult. Bewitching Bedlam–it flowed so quickly, but it’s kind of…very niche. Wild Hunt and Moonshadow Bay–I do love writing both series. And I’m looking forward to…well…see tomorrow’s blog!
I just wanted to say I loved Fury. Bewitching Bedlam I just couldn’t seem to get into it. I just always felt confused. Indigo Court I liked ok but the same issue as Bedlam. I think the space between books makes me lost sometimes. When a new book comes out I sometimes have a hard time remembering what the story was about. (But I totally understand that it takes time to release a new book just stating my problem ). Just thought that might give you some insight on why they didn’t do as well. (At least from my perspective) BUT I love you and will always give your series a chance
As I said, not every series is for every reader, as much as authors hope for that. (And we do–trust me, but if we’re smart, we also understand that some books just won’t resonate). It doesn’t mean the books are bad, it doesn’t mean the readers are ‘dumb’…it simply means that the chemistry between reader and book wasn’t there. And that’s absolutely fine. There are authors where I love one of their series but not the other. The reasons can be anything–one author where I love her one series, that series has a female lead. I don’t read series with male leads. I just … don’t. But it doesn’t mean her other series is poorly written–it’s just not for me.