Book Series. Authors, Which Series Will Be Profitable for Your Story?
Authors, we write books to share the story, and we sell the book to our readers so we can eat. Yes. It’s true. If we are writing all in, then we are writing to win. Can your story help others? Of course, it can, and let’s make sure that enough people know about it to make the impact that it should.
Question: Why are readers pulled to read a series?
One word: story! We are drawn in by the storytelling, the character development, the challenges, and we don’t want to leave the relationships we have experienced with the story. Breaking out a report to build depth is done in a series. As authors, a series offers more opportunities to please your fans, having them begging for more.
Authors, listen up. There are many differences in writing a series, and they are not all worthy of your time. However, you will need to know which structure is vital for your stories and your writing business to have a successful run.
All series have an arc that ties or connects them. These elements of the story series come in three unique forms: dynamic, static, and anthology. Ready to start? Let’s shine some light on three popular series book structures.
#1: DYNAMIC SERIES
Dynamic series are very modern and popular today because it follows a character or a group of characters through challenges and adventures. Each book has an arc or a theme, and yet, there is an overarching arc lasting through the entire series, wrapping it all up with a bow.
Usually, dynamic series structures see their characters’ depth, for better or worse, develop as the story progresses. (I’ll jump into a little more depth in other articles with two examples: Harry Potter and The Hunger Games).
Marketing side note: dynamic series structures feature a series-long arc, and if the first book bombs, it can become a cost-prohibitive nightmare to continue publishing the series and nuts! You have an open-ended story.
#2: STATIC SERIES
Static series have an incredible main character or group of characters; however, these characters have already been established. We know their roles, their strengths, their weaknesses. They are stable—essentially, the characters remain static—but what draws readers in are the adventures they have and the mysteries they solve.
Each new book is a new adventure, challenge, or problem to solve using their unique skills to accomplish that.
Examples: Nancy Drew, Sherlock Holmes, and even individual characters such as Dolores Umbridge (we know she is evil and remains evil throughout).
Marketing side note: This is a little safer. Readers know that character and don’t have to depend on the next to find out more about the main character. They can just enjoy the next adventure.
#3: ANTHOLOGY SERIES
Here is where we make a shift and a change. Anthology series are defined by the theme or the world that they are set in. Anthologies are not defined by the character or story arc but rather by their world. Many romance series are written this way. Other examples of Anthologies are The Chronicles of Narnia and even the popular series Goosebumps.
Readers don’t need to read these books in chronological order. Many of these books can stand alone, even if one story’s character finds its way into another book.
Marketing Side Note: They can be a bit risky if you have not developed the world in which the conflict is the driving force for the story.
Authors, now that you know the three most popular series of books, the question is, Which type of book series are you drawn to? A good rule of thumb: if you are looking to develop an epic series full of action, challenges, and adventures go for the dynamic series structure. They are better at helping your character develop through that inner conflict and grow as the adventure unfolds.
Static series have a highly developed character with a fascinating personality, yet only have a singular story goal. Come on, Nancy Drew! Let’s solve the mystery.
Anthology series have the world as their challenge and are great for connected ideas and they don’t have to feature the same main character.
Authors, remember that you are not only amazing at story-smithing, but you must have an audience who wants to read your book for you to keep writing. (Truth!) Think about the power of the three different series we discussed here and how you can use them as your marketing tool.
Good Luck! Stay tuned for next week when we jump in a little deeper about all three series structures.