Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Are Series the New Vampires?

Series seem to have taken over YA. Even books that weren't meant to have sequels now have them! Melina Marchetta revisited the characters from Saving Francesca and Gayle Forman is writing a sequel to If I stay, set 5 years in the future.  Not that I'm complaining, far from it. I adored The Piper's Son and I can't wait to read Where She Went.  

As a reader I'm all for it. I love series and I love revisiting the same characters. As an aspiring writer, the rise of the series has me intrigued. Every bit of advice I've read says the same thing - Finish your book and, while you query it, start something new. But NOT the second book of a series.

And yet there are a lot of debut authors whose books are the first in series. Off the top of my head.

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy

The Iron King
by Julie Kagawa

The Demons Lexicon by Sarah Ress Brennan

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

Parnormacley By Kristen White

The Naughty List
by Suzanne Young

The Line by Terri Hall

Even Nathan Bransford (who has his finger on the pulse is anyone does) is busy working on the sequel, to his not yet published book, Jacob Wonderbar.

So are series the new Vampires? 

What do you guys think? And do you love series or prefer stand alones?


  1. I would tend to think so-- all those you mentioned all seem to have 2nd or 3rd book already in the works.

    As a reader--its okay but there are gets to be much. Love the back ground ;)

  2. I'm not a huge fan of series. Most of the time it just seems like a way to make more money and a way to drag out a story that could have been told in one book but the writer didn't bother condensing it. Yes, I'm not a fan. There are a few that I do like, though, like Lord of The Rings. I'm not sure that's truly series, though, not like the series of today.

    I refuse to write a series. I may eat those words one day, I know.

  3. It does seem like everything needs to become a trilogy or a saga, which I am very okay with. My strategy is to have a proposed plot for a sequel or full series to the novel I'm writing, but not write it yet. Instead, I've moved on to other projects, just in case. I feel like I have more to offer an agent or editor that way.

  4. Can't wait for Where She Went! And of course, anything by Melina Marchetta.

    I don't mind a series as long as it isn't dragging... And some books just need a sequel! Like Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles. X3

  5. When well written, I love series. I fall in love with charactors, planets, and fantasy lands. When the good ones end, I hope for more related books. For instance I am reading the various books in Tamora Pierce;s Tortall.

  6. I love series - but I hate it when an idea is stretched to make a series when it should have been left alone.

  7. Oh I totally agree with you! I was just noticing how many books that I was enjoying were the first in a series.

    And you know what? I totally cannot stand series! Seriously. I can dig books that are more "companion" novels. (Forrest of Hands and Teeth and Dead Crashed Waves comes to mind. You could read them separately and still enjoy either as stand alones. I personally adored the 2nd over the 1st. But the up and coming 3rd is *so* apart of the series...the 2nd was left too much of a cliffhanger).

    I really enjoy revisiting characters, as you put it. I just hate waiting for that cliffhanger. The problem is, most of the "next in the series" books take another year to come out. Dude, I read nearly 100+ books a year. Waiting a whole tweleve months with that many in between , well, I begin to forget some of the details that are important. Ya know?

    IDK, it's a fine line for me!

  8. I love series and stand alones. Sometimes I will start a series late as with the Sookie Stackhouse series. I then bought the first seven books at once and read them one after another. Loved it. Sometimes I just want what I call a quick read and that will be a stand alone.

  9. To answer your question about writing -- I did not start any work on the Mockingbirds sequel until after the book sold. (OK, I had written a 500-word first chapter teaser as part of submission package!) But I was busy working on a totally different story while the book was on sub and didn't start the sequel in earnest til after line edits for Mockingbirds. My advice to writers would be -- write the book you want to write. If it has series potential, great. But don't start the sequel til the book sells and editor approves a sequel! Work on something else and then wow -- you'll have another novel ready to go, which is always a good thing.

  10. I'm not sure if its just me or something, but when I first got into blogging (and found all the awesome book recommendations) i realized so many of them were the first in a series. Has it always been this way, or just since I started to notice it? Dunno :o
    As long as it isn't an insane cliffhanger, I'm okay with series and companion novels :)

  11. I definitely love some series... like Harry Potter, where there was a defined plot line, and The Hunger Games. I like it when there is a concrete "mission" or something to be accomplished over the span of the series, so that all the novels are connected. I don't like it when each novel is just a separate adventure. They have to all be connected to hold my interest between books. Although I do love The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves...

  12. I have definitely noticed the trend to creating series lately. Overall I enjoy series, but I am starting to feel like I will never catch up with some of them. I am beginning to crave stand alone books because I like to break up the series that I read.

    I just wish that authors new when to stop in certain cases. Series that have more than 5 books kind of push my interest level. I'm sure publisher can be pushy wanting popular series to continue, but I am honestly getting sick of series that seem to have no end to them.

  13. Can't wait for Where She Went! And of course, anything by Melina
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