From C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, books in a series have long been popular. When a story spans more than one book, readers can spend more time visiting their favorite characters and worlds. And writers have the benefit of a built-in audience eagerly awaiting their next editions! If you’re thinking about self-publishing a book series, it’s important to consider the timing of each release. The experts at Self-Publishing Relief have helped authors navigate this process and have some advice about when to self-publish the next book in your series.
Timing When To Self-Publish The Next Book In Your Series
Having a rough estimate of your timeline is important—you can’t expect to publish a book every six weeks if it takes you three months to prepare and release just one! Planning and staying organized is vital to successfully publishing a book series. Begin by estimating how long it will take you to self-publish a book. You may also want to consider hiring some help for certain steps to ensure your book looks professional, suits your genre, and stays on schedule. You never want your books to seem half-baked or rushed. Readers will notice, and the negative word-of-mouth can tank your current sales—and sales of future books.
If your books are longer than the average 50,000-word novel, you may want to publish them further apart to give your readers enough time to complete a book before the next one comes out.
How Many Books Should Be Ready Before You Self-Publishing A Series?
Should you write the entire series before you self-publish, or should you instead write only the first book and publish it before moving on? Each writer is different: Some prefer to write and publish one book at a time, while others recommend having three book manuscripts ready before you start self-publishing a series. This gives you a good head start and helps you publish on a consistent schedule. If you write one book and then struggle with the second (or the fifth or the tenth), your timeline may suffer, and readers may lose interest if they have to wait too long for the next installment of your series.
Some writers prefer to finish the entire series before they begin publishing, and this strategy does offer some advantages. With all the books written, you’ll be able to focus your attention on publication and promotion. However, if you’re a slow writer and your series might be twelve books long, you probably don’t want to wait the years and years it could take to write the entire series. Instead, you might want to write one to three books and then begin the self-publishing process as you write the others.
How Much Time Between Releases In A Book Series?
Some self-published authors release a new book every three to four months. You may personally prefer more time to pass after your initial release date, but you shouldn’t wait longer than one year between books in a series. Six months between books is a good ballpark estimate. This allows your readers time to catch up and to get excited for the next book without making them wait so long that they lose interest.
Not every story needs a sequel—and if you can’t sustain the storyline or characters over the course of several books, you probably shouldn’t stretch it out over a series. But if you are planning to self-publish a book series, keep in mind the number of manuscripts you want to have ready before you start, and how much time you want to pass between each release.
And if the idea of navigating the self-publishing process multiple times has you breaking out in a cold sweat, the experts at Self-Publishing Relief can make life easier for you! We’ve helped authors self-publish multiple books in a series. Here’s what one of our clients has to say:
“I am pleased I chose Self-Publishing Relief and its various teams from design to production to guiding me through the exigencies of Kindle, Nook, and print… I’ve committed to have this group do… my 10-book series, and I look forward to a long relationship with them.”—Ben Lattimore, author
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Question: What is your favorite book series?