There is a lot of advice out there as regards writing series fiction. But the same bottom line usually applies and especially so when it comes to SF and Fantasy.
From an author’s perspective, writing SFF usually involves a lot of work in terms of world building. A stand alone book therefore results in most of that world building being discarded. In series, the same research and exposition applies and can usually be embellished to build a stronger and even more colorful canvas.
From a reader’s point of view, if they like the first in a series, will usually enjoy the remainder. And here it is important to differentiate between series and serial.
In series, the same characters/world are self contained in a unique story. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld is a prime example of this overarching approach. A serial is a story told in many installments with a story line weaving through the books and leading to a single point of conclusion. The best examples of these are the Harry Potter Books and the Hunger Games.
So with a series, if the reader gets fed up of the world, they may move on. But with a serial there is the added desire to see the plot through to its natural conclusion.
But what of the author? What if he gets fed up of writing the same characters and setting? Writers are naturally imaginative and sometimes it helps to fuel that imagination. With two books of a 5 book serial series published, I am halfway to my goal. To help keep the juices flowing, I have enlisted the help of a concept artist to see how things might look for potential readers. The result is the ‘coming soon’ poster we see above for for The Witch of Carpathia and this was the initial rough sketch.
Art can be expensive, but if you know where to look, there is talent out there that will not break the bank and can be inspirational. This work came from the pool of talent on Fiverr and has certainly helped me keep the faith. I will have no hesitation using it as a teaser.
The Witch of Carpathia is the third in the artefact series and follows on from The Obsidian Pebble and The Beast of Seabourne. The wonderful covers for these books were created by the talented graphic designer Lisa Amowitz for Spencer Hill Press and I would always advise hiring professional cover designers for the finished article. Lisa spent weeks on these designs and it is well worth the outlay ( a lot more than a fiverr!) to get a professional design to your liking.