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Why Some Series Die on the Vine

Newspaper concept with hot topic "Bad news" lying on office desk.

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."
Or, sometimes, no matter how good a series is, it's just not what the author's audience wants and they don'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.

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: Not enough readers.

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