Morgan says: Have you noticed a growing trend in requests for stories with trilogy (or longer) story arches? From Twilight to The Hunger Games, readers are gobbling up stories that feature the same characters across multiple books.
From a reader’s perspective, this trend makes perfect sense. Remember, your readers want an experience. They want to escape into the world that you created. Writing multiple books that take place in the same small town, family, space ship, dimension, or planet fulfills that escapist need.
Last week, we experimented with an online workshop to help Jessa Slade revamp her website design. Ms. Slade’s Marked Souls Series currently has four books. One of the folks who posted a comment, stated that they had difficulty finding the order of the books in the series. (Ms. Slade has since made the book order more clear.) This comment made me wonder: How do other authors designate the order in which their series books should be read? Of course there is the publication list at the front of each book, but how do they capture this list on their website?
I did some research on the internet and here is what I found:
George R.R. Martin has written several standalone books, but the HBO series Game of Thrones has sparked a renewed interest in his A Song of Fire and Ice series. Notice how he lists his books in order as bullets and sub-bullets on his bibliography page.
|An excerpt from George R. R. Martin's bibliography page.|
J. R. Ward highlights the latest release in her series at the top of her “The Books” page working backwards to the first book in the series. In the book description she provides, she tells you the:
- ISBN numbers
- Publication date
- Number of the book in the series
- Main character focus (i.e., Qhuinn and Blaylock's Story) - BRILLIANT!!
- Book blurb
|One of J. R. Ward's books listed on her "The Books" webpage.|
Beyond your website, there are several ways that you can make the order clear. For example, Melissa Marr showcased her Wicked Lovely covers on a bookmark. Now her new readers can easily identify which books precede her latest release.
|Melissa Marr Wicked Lovely bookmark.|
This week, we want you to go your own Cyber Safari Field Trip and answer the following questions:
- How does your favorite series author list their books on their website?
- Is it easy to know the order in which the books should be read?
- If you write a series, how can you make the book order clear on your website?
- How can you better showcase your series in other forms of marketing? (i.e., bookmarks, brochures, posters, etc.)