Interestingly enough, shortly after I wrote about my questions about series (check out my December 9th blog titled Seriously? A Series), Children’s Writer, which is a monthly newsletter sent to inform writers about what is going on in the children’s publishing market published an article that covered the very topic I was discussing. It’s titled The More the Merrier: Fiction, Nonficiton, & Magazine Series by Katherine Swarts (Children’s Writer, January, 2012).
From the article, I learned a few things about series that I thought I would mention. Swarts confirms the avid marketability of a good series, but she also says that new “unproven authors” should be reluctant to introduce a story to an editor as a series. Instead, she believes that the new author should just write a really good story (with an interesting character/s) and let the work, do the “series work” for itself. In other words, if the story is good enough, and sells well, then it may be the editor who is asking the author to continue the story into a series. Furthermore, based on some advice from editors discussed in the article, it doesn’t seem as if editors are eager to sign up for a series without the success of a first book. BUT, as an author gains a bigger reputation, the idea of pitching a series to an editor early may become more likely to pay off once the author has established a track record of being a good (successful and sellable) writer.
I certainly thought this was informative, and I will definitely keep my ears and eyes open about more information regarding series.
What do you think about series? Pitch them early on, or wait them out?