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996 Views 8 Replies Last post: Nov 7, 2017 1:38 PM by ElizaBennet RSS
Level 0 31 posts since
Jul 2, 2017
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 6, 2017 10:54 AM

Whether (and how) to designate a novel as volume 1 of a so-far-nonexistent series?

Thanks to all of you who take time to answer newbie questions. It's greatly appreciated.


I hope to publish a novel via Createspace soon.


It seems likely, though not absolutely definite, that I'll then write a sequel.


But that could easily take a year or more before publication. And after that, who knows, maybe I'd write a third book, creating a trilogy. Then more books maybe.


Since it seems likely that I'll try to write at least a sequel, should I designate right now (at both Createspace and Bowker) this first book as Volume 1 in a (so far nonexistent) series???


I'm trying hard to keep things as simple as possible, and avoid having to issue a revised edition of this first book later, and also having to contact CS and Bowker later to try to add series info and volume info.


But since NO series - or even sequel - exists yet, and won't for a good while, is it a bad idea to designate my current book as Volume 1?


And if I do, at some point, designate my book(s) as part of a series, do both the series name and the volume number need to appear on the front cover?


Instead, could I just put a volume number on the spine?


(I'm guessing that series and volume number info also need to appear on the interior copyright page.)


This first book has a long title (though no subtitle), so I'd rather not try to squeeze a series name onto the front cover, though I guess I could fit "Volume 1" on the cover and/or spine.


Thanks for any input.

Level 2 125 posts since
Jan 27, 2017
Currently Being Moderated
1. Nov 7, 2017 3:21 AM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Whether (and how) to designate a novel as volume 1 of a so-far-nonexistent series?

I will give you my experience. I am writing a series. I knew from the beginning it would be a series of four books, with the possibility of expansion (more of a spin off, if you will). If you start a series you must finish it. I know, duh. Well as a new unknown writer it may become very frustrating when you don't see a bunch of sales. It can be discouraging. But if you start a series you have to finish it.


I am now on book three of my series. Books one and two aren't selling but from what I have heard this is common. People don't want to invest in a series from a new author until the series is almost complete, fear the series may never be completed.


The biggest mistake I made when starting was not focusing on my platform. Have you done that? If not, stop. Get your platform going. Join writing groups. Get a Twitter for you as a writer. Set up a Facebook writer page. Find your audience. Find groups dedicated to writers in your genre (or books)  and join the conversations - do not go in telling everyone you are writing a book. Get to know the people, make friends, then bring up your book. Once you have a following, then you focus on releasing your book. This preparation will make for a much better launch.

Level 2 193 posts since
Jan 24, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
2. Nov 7, 2017 4:41 AM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Whether (and how) to designate a novel as volume 1 of a so-far-nonexistent series?

Don't rush. That's a critical mistake. Set your book aside and begin the sequel. You will find dozens of things you'll need to add or change in your first book to improve the overall story line. By the time you finish the second book you'll have a better idea of whether the series should be 2, 3 or more books.

Trust me, the biggest mistake you can make is to publish that first book too soon. I waited an extra 2 years and just published THE TIME BENDER in September. THE TIME PACER comes out next week and I will schedule THE TIME STOPPER and THE TIME ENDER to follow at intervals under 90 days. That allows me to link the sequel at the end of each book so a reader can pre-order the next in the series immediately.

If I  had published when I first finished the original story the plot would not have been as good as it should have been, the characters would have been under developed, and I would have missed the opportunity to add several foreshadowings. I needed to finish the 4th book to polish the 1st. Makes sense?

Good luck, be patient, and happy writing.

Debra Chapoton

Level 5 4,129 posts since
Oct 27, 2010
Currently Being Moderated
3. Nov 7, 2017 6:10 AM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Whether (and how) to designate a novel as volume 1 of a so-far-nonexistent series?

It is really only you who can answer this question. How good are you at following through and completing multi-year projects?


I echo the comment about planning a series in advance. What I like to see is links backwards and forwards in time, threads started in early volumes and resolved much later, delayed explanations for why certain things happened much earlier, room for readers to make their own realisations and maybe even some subtle foreshadowing. That kind of structuring requires planning.

Level 3 334 posts since
Feb 11, 2016
Currently Being Moderated
4. Nov 7, 2017 7:13 AM in response to: ElizaBennet
Re: Whether (and how) to designate a novel as volume 1 of a so-far-nonexistent series?

You could always start your novel with a higher volume number (e.g. 4), issue a couple of sequels (e.g. 5 and 6), wait a few years, release some prequels (e.g. 1, 2 and 3) then wait even more years and release some more sequels (e.g. 7, 8 and 9).  In the interim, release other related novels and other stuff.


George Lucas did that with his Star Wars empire until he sold it to Disney who is continuing the tradition.


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