Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's here! Now what?



Third in my Strange Neighbors trilogy The Vampire Next Door has finally been released! This marks the end of my first series...or does it?

Many readers have been asking for another book. What people don't know is I was originally offered a 4 book series. I decided to contract 3 books, not knowing if I could deliver more than 1! Fear kept me from that last advance.

Or would that have been the last? When my editor offered me the contract, she said, "This series could go on and on and on..." And it could have, just by having people move in and out of the apartment building. Instead of being excited about that, I paniced. This was my first series. I doubted my ability to join the ranks of terrific authors who managed to make a series continue over a loooong period of time. Not only that, but I've heard grumbling about authors whose stories in a series burn out. Fans don't enjoy them anymore and feel as if they're reading the same old recycled story. I don't want to be that author.

Anywho...this is it. The last of the 3 contracted books.
Strange Neighbors introduces people to the landlord and the latest tenant. And guess what? Strange Neighbors is FREE for the taking today and for the next two days. Don't delay though. It goes back to full price after that.

Now, I'm going back to work on my next series. Cross your fingers for me that I can sell this one too. Maybe I won't be so afraid of the next one continuing on and on...as it could.

Do you feel a series should be contracted one book at a time in case the story or author burn out? Your opinion might be worth a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card! I'll be picking a winner from the commenters on 8/7. And don't forget to download book 1 Strange Neighbors for FREE from Amazon or B&N until 8/8.

18 comments:

Wynter Daniels said...

Congrats on the release. I think three is a great number for a series. It's only fear that stops us from committing to more, at least for me;-)

C Pierce said...

The trilogy works well, in my opinion. A fourth book can be done as a spin-off--same world but different characters,overarching theme. This would seem to impy that there would be #5 and #6, of course. But better to end on an "up" note than drag it out until readers get bored. I have seen this happen.

Then again, THE MAKE WAY FOR LUCIA series by EF Benson was 6 books and is an enduring classic. There were even two sequels written by another author long after the original author's death. So it's not impossible to keep going and do it well. In fact, Benson's got better and better. The series reached its zenith in the middle and the last two are pure comic gold.

Desiree Holt said...

I've had it work both ways-planned the entire series before hand or written a single title and had people ask for stories about the secondary characters. Personally I think a series should be contracted all at once based on the overview. That means everyone-author, editor, publisher-knows where it's going. And even though there night be changes along the way there's a very good guide. Which is weird coming form a seat-of-the-pants write.

Ashlyn Chase said...

I haven't heard of that series, but if it's humorous, it might be just my cup of tea. The fact that it gets better is something I should check out too. That's got to be quite a skill.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Des, you'r right. A publisher has to know in advance what they're publishing and plan for the right time between releases. I guess I was thinking strictly from the author's pov.

Virginia E said...

When it comes to this arguement, I just remember that Piers Anthony's Xanth series started out as a 3 book contract, but he has always been clear that it was never a trilogy.

In this reader's opinion: it's much better to underestimate the appeal of your series than to overestimate it. I don't mind seeing a series revisted as long as the world building stays consistant. However, it is a permanent gripe when a book is promised to readers but never delivered. It makes no difference if by the choice of the publisher or the writer (or the rare mutual consent).

Ashlyn Chase said...

Well, I'm glad I underestimated then, Virginia!

I hope I can keep going out on top.
(I'm working on the rest of the Ellora's Cave series today. we agreed on a series title. Fangtastic Lovers!)

Dalton Diaz said...

I've read a few series, and they do start to peter out around 8 or 9, sometimes sooner. Add that up and think about how long the author has been writing one series!
It's a tough choice every author hopes to face. Seems like even successful tv series are making it a point to leave early.

Jina Bacarr said...

Ashlyn, knowledge is power! You have a good understanding now of how the biz works and what works for you. Keep going!

Jacki C. said...

I can't wait to read this book. As for series, I think the author can write up to 3 books as long as they have a storyline already figured out. In some cases, just because one book does well doesn't necessarily mean that the sequel or later books will. I could name an author that has over 15 books in one series and the last 3 books have been abismal!

Ashlyn Chase said...

You're right, Dalton. I hadn't thought of that. You rarely see a TV show that's really great keep going until it's lost its luster...except maybe Lost, and i stuck with it just for the characters--not the story.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Jina and Jacki,

Thanks so much for the encouragement! We all need that.

Michelle Polaris said...

I'm with the group that thinks series should be contracted all at once with a final number already known. I think the best arc overview comes when you know the size scope of the series. I'm so happy for you, Ash. And three is perfect!

Margaret Luvisi said...

I think any number of books in a series is great
I bought a color nook in early spring and i bought your strange neighbor trilogy

Ashlyn Chase said...

Oh, a nook color!! Thank you for buying my whole trilogy, Margaret!

(Hugs)

booklover0226 said...

Do you feel a series should be contracted one book at a time in case the story or author burn out?

I'm on the fence for this one. On one hand, if the author has a mental outline of a series, then maybe it can be pitched that way.

On the other hand, if a series is contracted one book at a time, how long would we have to wait for the next book? And what if the publisher doesn't pick up the second book?

Eh, I'm going to stop now because I'm rambling...

Thanks,
Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Ashlyn Chase said...

LOL, Tracey,

Rambling is perfectly all right.
If we're talking about a traditional publisher, contracting one at a time might be tough. It's true.

I wonder if authors have ever "defaulted" on a book because they just felt the series had reached an end.

Ashlyn Chase said...

And the winner of the $25 B&N gift card is...

Desiree!

Congratulations!