Author Topic: Pretend stand-alones are a series?  (Read 1993 times)

LilyBLily

Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« on: October 01, 2019, 03:31:08 AM »
I've been assuming that my three women's fiction titles sell each other (they all have back-of-book excerpts and ads for the others). But when I paused my ad for one of them, my sales of that title dried up. So I reenabled the Amazon Ad, and it immediately started selling again.

Which makes me wonder if I would get more sales of my stand-alone women's fiction if I simply declared each book was part of a series and gave it a number for Amazon. Can one do that? The books are not linked in any way except in the main POV being that of a middle-aged (over 40 and over 50) woman in each.

Some women's fiction authors seem to do a version of series by means of a subtitle like "A Lowcountry Novel." Some have series names and some use the same term on their titles.

I wonder if this would fly? Or would readers get annoyed?     
 

notthatamanda

Re: Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2019, 03:51:25 AM »
There's a thread in the other place where people discussed this quite a bit.  I could see some readers getting annoyed by it, but it could probably go either way.  Do you have a box set for these books?  I have a box set for my three standalones, that I offer only on Kobo right now, and I pick up a sale or two on it when it is in a coupon sale. I hope readers go on to my other books from there, but I don't know.

When you talk about "A Low Country" Novel, I assume the books are set in the same town, or county, and the main character in each had possibly a cameo in the other book.  Even if the only thing the books have to link them is they drive down the same main street, at least there is something.
 

Post-Crisis D

Re: Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 04:08:58 AM »
I think the key is finding a way of connecting them in an organic way.  Maybe a fourth book could have a character that ties them all together somehow?


I have the same problem.  I have standalones, but they don't share any main characters.  There's a minor character that shows up in all but one of them but that doesn't help.  They all take place at different time periods in the same universe, but that doesn't help either.  "Adventures in Universe #xxxx" perhaps isn't the most compelling of series titles.  (Or is it?  Hmm. . .)  Then again, the first book doesn't take place in that universe but kind of overlaps with it, but, regardless, it can't be described as an adventure in universe #xxxx when it takes place in universe #xxxy.  Oy.  I have no luck.
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Lynn

Re: Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2019, 04:33:40 AM »
Find a theme they have in common and make it the thing that ties them into a series by naming the series after that.

Like: Second Chances

Or anything else that unifies them.

So yes, I think it's a legitimate way to bind standalone novels into a series.

I mean, what about the Classics Series some publishers put out? All the books share is a "look" and the fact that the stories are considered classics. :) It might not be a numbered series but that's a problem with Amazon (need a series number for the field) not a problem with the idea of having a series of books that are connected by something other than characters or locations.

IMO. :D


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notthatamanda

Re: Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2019, 06:53:55 AM »
Lynn, that's a really good idea, and since I'm going to be rebranding my standalones next year, I'm extra grateful.
But I'm wondering, what are some examples of women's fiction series.  Maybe I'm too tired but I'm not coming up with anything.  Anyone have any examples?
 
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idontknowyet

Re: Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2019, 08:12:09 AM »
I haven't read women fiction in years. I can't remember a single trad pub one from when I did.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2019, 12:08:20 PM »
I was just looking at a series from Dorothea Benton Frank called Lowcountry Tales. Elin Hilderbrand has a Winter Street series. You might call these the south and the north of women's fiction, since Hilderbrand seems to be centered on Nantucket and Boston and Frank on South Carolina.
 

dgcasey

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Re: Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2019, 05:45:00 PM »
Some women's fiction authors seem to do a version of series by means of a subtitle like "A Lowcountry Novel." Some have series names and some use the same term on their titles.

I just listened to a Self-Publishing Show episode with Alessandra Torre and she said she was kicking herself for not tying some of her books together, even in a small way. She talked about having four stand-alone books, all set in Los Angeles, and she didn't try to tie them together at all. If she had been paying attention to Stephen King, she would have seen how a master can work that kind of thing into a story.

I'm doing it myself, with my Cold Shivers Nightmare novels. They are all going to be stand-alone novels, but they will have small connections throughout the series. In the last chapter of Shattered Prisons I have my main character from Beware The Boogerman show up on my MC's doorstep and introduce herself. This kind of thing will happen through the entire series of 40-60 books and I'm sure there will even be opportunities to bring characters together for entire stories and have them work together.

I kind of look at this series like Lee Child looks at Jack Reacher. All books related, but every one a stand-alone novel.
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Marti Talbott

Re: Pretend stand-alones are a series?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2019, 07:39:02 AM »
I've been assuming that my three women's fiction titles sell each other (they all have back-of-book excerpts and ads for the others). But when I paused my ad for one of them, my sales of that title dried up. So I reenabled the Amazon Ad, and it immediately started selling again.

Which makes me wonder if I would get more sales of my stand-alone women's fiction if I simply declared each book was part of a series and gave it a number for Amazon. Can one do that? The books are not linked in any way except in the main POV being that of a middle-aged (over 40 and over 50) woman in each.

Some women's fiction authors seem to do a version of series by means of a subtitle like "A Lowcountry Novel." Some have series names and some use the same term on their titles.

I wonder if this would fly? Or would readers get annoyed?     

I have four books like that and used the series title "An M.T. Mystery." They are all in KU and people are reading all of them, so I guess it's working.
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