Author Topic: Any Series writers out there?  (Read 21079 times)

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Offline Jen

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Any Series writers out there?
« on: December 21, 2003, 10:26 PM »
I know Lyra writes a couple of series for Llewellyn and that Jeff is working with WotC for Dragonlance... any other series writers out there?  If I could do anything, it would be MG and YA series, but since that's a pretty daunting place to start, I'm taking it one step at a time.

Still... I love series books... even as a kid, I was the series kind of girl.  

Offline LindaJoy

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2003, 09:28 AM »
 ;D Hi, Jen!

For those who don't know, I'm Lyra in chat, but Linda Joy (or L.J.) Singleton on my books.  And Verla asked me to be the moderator for the topic of series.  So here I am.

I wrote two series for Avon (My Sister the Ghost and Cheer Squad) and one series for Berkley (Regeneration). Now I'm writing two series for Llewellyn: Strange Encounters and The Seer.  I am SO grateful for the opportunity to work for Llewellyn.  And I love my editor Megan.

Writing for series is a different kind of writing.  You don't just start each book new, but have to weave in information and characters from past books.  I find myself rewriting constantly to achieve a good balance.

If anyone has questions about writing for series, just ask!

And here's an open question for everyone -- what series did you enjoy the most?  And why?

Happy holidays -- LJS;
Author of SNOW DOG, SAND DOG, THE SEER, DEAD GIRL, GOTH GIRL series & in 2015: CA$H KAT
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Jaina

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2003, 09:50 AM »
I've got a question.  Are books about the same characters all series?  Like Judy Moody, Ramona, or Anastasia Krupnik books.  Are those "series" or sequels or ?  Just wondering.

Offline LindaJoy

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Re: What is a series?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2003, 01:48 PM »
 8)
According to the Girl Series Companion, which is my favorite reference tool for girl series books, there must be three books with the same character or cast of characters to constitute a series.

Two books with the same characters is a sequel.  

Something like Lord of the Rings is a trilogy because it's one long story split into three books (four if you count The Hobbit).  J.K. Rowling doesn't consider Harry Potter a series, but one long book split into seven installments.  But with so many books, it's easier to call it a series.

A series can even have different characters that are tied to a situation or setting.  Basically the difference is that the characters continue through a few books.  And there are always exceptions.  Like The Giver, which has the companion novel Gathering Blue and the forthcoming 3rd companion novel The Messenger.

It's hard to sell a series to a hardback publisher, so I usually advise to write one strong book like Phyllis Reynolds Naylor did with her Alice series.  Alice was so popular, readers wanted more, so more books were written.

Paperback publishers are often looking for series, or need writers to continue their established series (often TV tie-in's these days).  I wrote Sweet Valley Twin #59 early in my career and it was an education experience.  This type of ghost-writing is usually contracted by packagers (middle companies who work for larger publishers, usually producing series books quickly).

If you have any more questions, just ask!! Linda
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Offline HB

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2003, 10:19 AM »
Jaina, I never really thought about what makes a series but part of my definition would be that a series could be read out of order whereas sequels can't. Although it's always nice to read #1 first to see how they set up the whole premise. ie. the babysitters coming up with their club idea, the kids discovering the magic treehouse.

But none of that answers your question as to whether Ramona et al would be considered a series. Although there would be some references to earlier books, you don't need to read them in order. But I would say no, for absolutely no reason at all except that they don't have a number in the top corner.   ;)

Oh, here's something else. Maybe something is a series when you define it as a series with a title: "The Babysitters Club," "Sweet Valley High," etc.

Offline Jeff_S

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2003, 10:50 AM »
I'm not sure that's true.  Now, there are indeed plenty of series where each book can stand alone, but the two series I worked on/am working on are both intended to be read in order.  So much happens that it'd be impossible to make sense of it in the middle -- it's more that each book is part of a greater story than being one whole story unto itself.  All the books follow one plot "arc."  

One of my favorite series is ANIMORPHS by K.A. Applegate, and while it started out with stand alones based around an overall plot premise, eventually the books were more or less divided into "arc" books and "one-offs."  The arc books delved into the big picture, while the one-offs were basically little side adventures.

In Remnants and Dragonlance: New Adventures, there are no one-offs, which is why I find them so fascinating to write for.  It's like reading one big adventure, and once you get involved with the books you want to stay involved until it's over.

Also, just want to point out that there are series like Goosebumps where totally different books with totally different characters all fall under the same series title.  Think of something like Dear America or Royal Diaries, for instance.  I think most series, however, do follow the same characters throughout.

By the way, all my series experience so far has been with books that were always intended to be a series, by both the author and the publisher.  I'm not too familiar with the "accidental" series.  I actually find that really interesting, as I think I'd need to go into the first book knowing it'd be a series so that I could know to create chaos and leave openings for more plots.  I'd probably wrap everything up if I thought it was just going to be one book, and then where would that leave me?  I'd feel more like I was creating a bunch of sequels than a series if asked to do that, since, like I mentioned above, my idea of a series heavily involves one big overarching story.
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Offline HB

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2003, 11:31 AM »
Jeff, those series sound interesting. So Animorphs is kind of like X-Files where you have the big myth-arc but also monster of the week episodes?

I’m really interested in how the process works. For the series you write for, you are one of multiple authors. But if it’s one long story, how do you keep the story arc consistent? Because I assume that you are writing the first draft of book D while another author is editing book C and book B is at the printers. How do you write your book without contradicting something that came before or that hasn’t yet been written? Is there an overall story arc bible that was mapped out ahead of time that all the authors follow?

And does a single story arc for some series mean that you would include HP in your definition of a series?

Offline LindaJoy

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2003, 05:55 PM »
I'm not sure how Jeff's series works, but when I wrote Sweet Valley Twin, I was sent the manuscript version of the books coming before mine so I would know things that might be changing.  

In fact, I had named a character, Melissa, after my own daughter -- but found out that coincidentally a Melissa had been added to the book prior to mine.  But the big coincidence was that she had a brother named Andy -- which is my son's name.  So I changed Melissa to "Melinda," a combination of our names.

Linda
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Offline Jeff_S

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2003, 12:10 PM »
HB:

Yeah, I think that's a good way to describe ANIMORPHS, although I think it's far more character based than X-Files ever was.

I'm actually still figuring out the same thing, re: not contradicting what came before ;)  I'm relying on my editor to keep me on the right path.  However, we all know the major "plot beats" for each book so we do know where the characters and the plot are at by the time we write the outline.  And we get to read the other manuscripts as we go and the new outlines as they're written.  So, for instance, I'll get to read the first 4 books before I get started, so I'll know the series voice and the characters and the world pretty well before I dive into writing the book.  In fact, it's funny how well I feel I know the characters even just based on reading plot outlines.  

However, it's those three books before mine, the ones  that are still in various stages of completion, that may cause problems.  For instance, I don't even know what happens in book 6 yet because there's no outline.  I have to go by plot beats only.  

Basically, I get to do the best with what I know, and if I make any mistakes, well, that's what I'll get to fix in the rewrites.  Either that or the editors will fix them for me.

REMNANTS was a little different in that the outlines were extremely detailed.  Since the same person who wrote the outline is also writing the book itself with DRAGONLANCE, the outlines can be relatively vague.  The REMNANTS outlines, however, detailed everything, so I had a really good idea what I was doing when I outlined book 7.  (Just to give an example -- my DRAGONLANCE 8 outline is 7 single-spaced pages while my REMNANTS 7 outline was 20 single-spaced pages, although that was long even for that series.)  Even then, it wasn't until I read all the manuscripts available that everything clicked -- lots of little details to pick up on.  It's a tricky thing, but it's definitely doable.  I remember one time reading an e-mail where the author of one REMNANTS book talked about rewriting the beginning of her book because one of the other authors specified that the water the characters were in at the end of her book was cold, whereas the other author had went with warm water.  I guess you just have to look at the series as a constantly evolving story instead of everything that you write being set in stone.  You also have to be incredibly willing to work off of the ideas of others, otherwise you'll be incredibly frustrated.

Speaking of that, I recently found it's important to look at what's coming next as well.  Now, we're all just making this up as we go along -- it was the same with both series, which is why it's so important to leave things open when you're creating a book in a series -- so there's nothing set for future books that must happen.  But a friend who may potentially do the 9th book in DRAGONLANCE has been asking for my opinions and whatnot on his own plot sketch.  He ended up writing in something that embellished  upon the ending of my book that made me entirely rethink how I want to play that scene when I eventually write it -- for the better, mind you.  So while he'd be responsible for not contradicting anything I write, I can help out -- and make for a more intriguing and solid story -- by looking ahead and foreshadowing what he will write.  It's very much a team effort.

Re: HARRY POTTER, I'm not sure whether to consider it a series or not.  I mean, we don't consider the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA a series, though both will have the same number of books in the end.  And then there are all those series that we DO consider a series, even though they never made it past six books.  Of course, there's also A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, which we consider a series despite that, like HP, it has a set number of books -- 13.  I really don't have a way to clarify what, exactly, makes a string of books a series.  Anyone?
« Last Edit: December 24, 2003, 12:17 PM by Jeff_S »
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Offline Cana

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2004, 09:58 AM »
Question about subbing a series.  My book has series potential, but is intended to stand on it's own.  The books may be read out of order as the stories told in each book are completely separate.  The characters remain the constant.  I'm unpublished.  When I send my query, should I mention that it can be a series, or should I just let the editor come to that conclusion one his/her own.  I'd heard that claiming that you had  a series before the first one is published is considered amateur.
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Offline Jen

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2004, 02:13 PM »
Unless you're writing to someone who is specifically looking for a series (there are sometimes a couple in CWIM who say things like "will accept queries for middle grade series"), then I'd send it out as a stand alone and not even mention the word "series."  

Offline Lisa M.

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2004, 04:42 PM »
Jeff- as soon as I saw your pic to the left, I knew you liked Animorphs!  (I noticed it way before this post)  I love series books and think they are even more popular now than ever before.  Or maybe because I've been in tune with them more in my library?  Kids in grades 1-3 want series books and want them all the time.  I think more and more books are being turned into series books.  Agree?  Disagree?  I think publishers want a "sure" thing.  (Although nothing in publishing seems like a sure thing.)  Has anyone read Gooney Bird Greene by Lowery?  HILARIOUS!  Students in k-3 love it.  As soon as I read it, I knew Lois Lowry would be writing more of them.  (She is.)  Great discussion.  Linda Joy- really enjoyed the Regeneration books!

Offline LindaJoy

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2004, 05:23 PM »
 :typing:
Hi!  

Lisa, thanks for the nice comment about my series, Regeneration.  I had a great time writing those books and still hope they'll someday find a new publisher.  Of course, for now, I'm very lucky to have two new series coming out THIS YEAR (nice words!) with Llewellyn Publishing.

As for subbing a book that may be a series, I agree with Lisa.  Let the book stand on its own to begin with, then when there's interest, mention that it could become a series.  But sometimes the word "series" is seen as more mass market books, rather than hardback originals.  So if subbing to a publisher who does hardbacks only, it's safer not to market the book as part of a series.  

I do notice a trend toward books spawning sequels or trilogies.  If one book does well, editors seem really open to continuing the characters.  Several juvenile authors I know of have strong first books that are continuing with sequels, in one case, following a different character.  So when writing a book, it can't hurt to keep the plot line open for additional books later on.  

Here's a fun question....what current series do you admire and wish you'd come up with first??  My choice would be the 1-800-Where-R-U series by Meg Cabot/Jenny Carroll.  I love psychic topics -- and luckily I'm now writing my own.

Linda
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Offline Lisa M.

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2004, 05:46 PM »
Two younger series I wish I thought of that come quickly to mind are the A-Z Mysteries by Rob Roy and the Zack Files which are new to me.  Both are simple and light.  "Fluff" and fun.  I do think it's harder and harder to break in now.  It seems that more of the open slots are being taken (deservedly so!) by newer authors who are writing a sequel.  On an up side, I do know of two brand new authors who were offered a two book contract first time out based on first novel only.  

Offline Jeff_S

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2004, 10:53 AM »
You know what's funny is that my signature picture is based on my own book, HORUS, not Animorphs.  But it sure is similar, what with the boy turning into a hawk and all -- although in my book, only his head changes ;)  I always enjoyed the Animorphs cover art.  An artist named David B. Mattingly did them.  Nice guy, I talked to him a couple times.

As for series, seems to me that the "in" thing seems to be hardcover books that are released many months apart, like A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES, and of course HARRY POTTER.  Paperback series don't seem to do anywhere near as well as they did when I was a kid.  But I expect at some point the mass market, monthly paperback series will have a resurgence -- all we need is a new BABY-SITTERS CLUB or GOOSEBUMPS.
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words4kids

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2004, 03:05 PM »
I've written a series of books that are just beyond level4 readers. I guess you'd call them early chapter books - The shortest one is at 3000 words and the longest has 5000 words.  They are adventure stories with an inventor twist.  Is there any market for books this short? Or should I expand the plots a bit for a longer book?  They all use the same cast of characters, but in different predicaments.

Thanks for all the input!

Offline Cana

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2004, 10:24 AM »
I think books of that length are mg chapter books aimed at ages 8-11.  My book is also in that word range, so I sure hope there's a market.  :yup I believe the Magic Treehouse series titles are around 4000-5000 words.  
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words4kids

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2004, 10:09 AM »
Thanks Cana.  I think I counted the words once in a Magic Treehouse book and they were pretty close.  And yes, my books are definitely aimed at the 8-11 year old. What type of book is yours?  Adventure? Mystery? Fantasy?

Offline Cana

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2004, 06:56 PM »
Hey, try this.  Go to www.renlearn.com.  Click on order quizzes.  Type in the title of the book you are researching (i.e. "Twister on Tuesday")  You'll find out things like interest level, word count, publisher, etc.  

My book? Hmmmm. I'm not sure how it will be classified.  Adventure I guess?  It has (cringe) talking animals that go on an adventure together.  What makes the story unique is the way the story is told. (I know, show not tell. LOL) I am getting ready to begin working on a synopsis.  I think I'll let the editor decide how to classify the story when they publish it.  ;D
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words4kids

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2004, 08:44 AM »
Thanks for the great link, Cana.  No more counting or estimating words of books that look similar to mine.  What an awesome help!  I guess my most developed title in the series is about the same size as books like Jigsaw Jones, Magic Tree House, or Arthur ch. books.  Great to know.  Appreciate that site, a serious time saver on the research end. ;D

Offline Stephanie Ruble

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Re: What is a series?
« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2004, 03:52 PM »
I have always liked series books because I want to know what happens to characters next. I have not written any series yet, but it's hard for me not to imagine what would happen to my characters in the future.

There was a great article on mid-grade series books in the January/February Horn Book called Paperback Books for Young People: “The Beaten Path” by Nell Beram

Here's the online link to the article, in case you missed it: http://www.hbook.com/column.shtml

p.s.
8)
  The Giver, which has the companion novel Gathering Blue and the forthcoming 3rd companion novel The Messenger.

Linda, do you know when The Messenger is being published? I finally got around to reading both The Giver and Gathering Blue, and want to see where she (Lois Lowry) goes with the 3rd. book.
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Offline LindaJoy

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2004, 04:19 PM »
Scruble asks about Lois Lowry's THE MESSENGER, 3rd companion novel to THE GIVER.  

According to Amazon, it's due out this year on my mom's birthday.

Oh...you don't know when that is?

April 26.

And THE MESSENGER sounds really good!!!  Bet it'll win some awards next year.

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jph

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2004, 01:29 PM »
Hello.  I'm resurrecting this topic because I'm rather new to this board and just discovered this thread.

I started writing for fun about a year ago and wrote a group of 12 stories with the same characters, setting, etc. - essentially, a series.     They are very visual and have many scene changes, so I have been trying to market them as picture books, although the age range is pretty broad (I'm thinking about 5-12 based on vocabulary and themes).  For the most part the stories can stand on their own, but there are a couple instances where there might be some confusion if previous book(s) have not been read.

Not knowing that marketing a series was a "no-no", I submitted some queries in January that included a 1 page letter and a 2nd page listing the stories with a description of each.  I did get one positive response from a publisher who is reviewing 2 of the stories.  While I'd love to get a contract, I'm not terribly optimistic and am trying to plan out my next steps.    

My first option, I know, would be to market just the first story and then hold the others in hopes that #1 could get published and sell (although I think I've exhausted some options by sending out all my queries - kicking myself).  But, I'm also wondering if publishers ever publish a series of related short stories in one book - like an anthology or a story collection?  It wouldn't exactly be a chapter book.  Is there any other format which might work, or which a publisher would consider?  It would probably be cheaper for them in a format with less pictures anyway, right?  But, I don't know of any market for something like this.

I'd really appreciate any input.

Thanks much,

Joyce

Jaina

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2004, 02:31 PM »
Hi, Joyce!

Without seeing your stories, we're kind of limited in the advice we can give, I think, but I do have a couple comments.

One is that you seem unsure of where you stories belong--picture books, chapter books, etc.  Have you found other picture books in your library that you think compare to your Story #1?  Do you think because of the nature of the story, it just really lends itself to being illustrated?  It sounds like you think they'd also work without so many illustrations, too, so maybe picture books aren't the way to go (the market being what it is for PBs).

5-12 IS a big spread.  I think many peole would say that 12 year olds just aren't interested in the same issues as 5 year olds, so a book that tries to entertain both would have to be some book!  If you're only saying that 12 year olds would be a target because of some advanced vocabulary... well, I wouldn't worry about that part.  Think of Kevin Henkes' picture books, for example, and some of the big words he puts in them!

I'd concentrate on the content/subject matter and what age group would find that most appealing when deciding who you're targeting.

Have you checked out the young middle grade or chapter book section of your library for books which are, more or less, collections of stories about the same characters?  One that I found was Gloria's Way by Ann Cameron.  This is a chapter book, but the stories in it can stand alone completely.  You could read one and skip and read another or read them all out of order--doesn't matter.  I found the book enjoyable and I think young chapter book readers would feel very accomplished reading their "big kid" book.  Apparently there are lots of other books by this same author about the same characters (Stories Huey Tells, Stories Julian Tells etc.).  Check them out!

« Last Edit: March 15, 2004, 02:31 PM by Jaina »

jph

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2004, 06:37 PM »
Jaina -

Hi and thank you!  Your post was very helpful.  You are right about the age range - I think I need to narrow it down some.  I was thinking of the higher age because of the vocabulary (also some humor that's a little more adult; also because - ouch, I admit it - a friend with 7 kids up to age 13 reads them to her family and they all love them - slap me, slap me, call me newbie!).  But, in reality, the stories and themes are more geared toward a younger audience (although they do vary some from story to story) - preschool to middle elementary probably.

Honestly, I think my stories would work best in the picture book category.  That's where I've always "pictured" them, and where I'd most like to see them.  I would love to see an illustrator's conception of some of the more humorous scenes.  (ego?)  

However, I will definitely check out Ann Cameron's work as well.  That sounds exactly like what I was thinking of, but hadn't seen anything like it "out there."  (Granted, my kids are so little that I'm still in the pb section of the library.)  And, to tell you the truth, I think my stories would work well in this format also - I'd just be a little bummed not to have as many pictures.  :)

Needless to say, I have to get published before I get to see any illustrations.  Oh, that!  

Could I try to market them both ways?  Or, try one way and if that doesn't work try another?  This sounds so ludicrous! - but I really love these stories and believe in them - and I'd like to get them "out there" either way.

Thanks again for your input.  I really appreciate it!   :)

Joyce




 

Online Verla Kay

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2004, 02:33 PM »
Hi, Joyce,

I wouldn't try to market your story to both places, because a book that will work as a picture book can NOT work also as a midgrade or other kind of book, and vice versa.  Not without major rewriting anyhow!  

Here's what I'd do to narrow down the focus of your story if it were mine:

First, look at the main character.  How old is he/she?  You normally want the main character to be about two years older than the oldest person in your target audience.  Don't try to write a story for too large of an age span.  About four years is good.  (Ages 4 to 8, 6 to 10, or 8 to 12, etc.)  Remember that subjects, humor, etc. that interest a six year old will NOT interest a pre-teen.

Second, look at the theme and subject matter of your book.  What age group is going to be most interested in it?  

Finally, look at the language you have used to write your book.  Picture book need simple, lyrical language, normally sparce in nature, while books for older children will have longer, more complicated sentences, words, and ideas.  

A picture book will have one simple problem for the main character to solve.  A book for older children may have multiple sub plots with many problems to be overcome before the end of the story.

Read lots of current picture books in your local bookstore and look at books for older kids, too.  Which category would your book best fit?  That will be the age you need to target for your writing/revisions and your marketing.

I hope this helps you a little to figure just where your story fits, and where to target it when sending it out.

Good luck!
Verla Kay

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2004, 05:29 PM »
Hi, Verla.  Thanks so much for your response.  As for my main character, it's a duckling, so age is hard to say - but young.  The themes and subjects do vary a little from book to book, but there is definitely just one story - no subplots.  Overall, the appeal will be to a younger audience, I think.  The language is a little older.  I was a little concerned about this, but I did recently get a critique back from a (very kind and helpful) published author, and she did not seem concerned about the language.  She also suggested a 4-8 age range, which sounds up the alley with what you said.  So, I feel a lot more confident now that they really are pbs.  I think I knew that - I was just trying to think of another way I could market them if I can't sell them as pbs.  :)

Thanks again

Joyce

jph

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Re:Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2004, 05:31 PM »
Hey, look - I'm up to 7 posts!  
Maybe if I
write them
word
by
word
I
can
get
more!
 :D

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Re: Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2004, 03:21 PM »
I grew up on series -- Enid Blyton was my favorite writer for the longest time -- I started with her animal books (Brer Rabbit), then the adventure and school books.

Right now I'm reading Henry and Mudge books by Cynthia Rylant to my children.  They also love the Oliver and Amanda books by Jean Van Leeuven (sp.?)

I'm trying to sub a series for these early readers ... got my first rejection on that from Dial.  I'm starting to think that if you have many stories about a single character that it would make a good series but should I pitch it like that?  I have one *book* finished and have about 12 more stories in various stages ...

I think series and sequels have much in common.  I think the biggest difference is that each book in a series can be read independently, but a good sequel should be written in such a way that you can read book#2 without having read #1 and getting confused.  Of course, story and character growth are paramount ...  Hmmm, now I'm going to contradict myself.  The school series I read are probably better read one after the other because there's an overall story ... but each book is deliciously plotted.  Same with Harry Potter books --

What do I know?  A good book is a good book is a good book and I don't worry about whether it's a series.
Vijaya (who would love to have her own series for the younger kids).




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Offline LindaJoy

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Re: Any Series writers out there?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2004, 05:22 PM »
 :reading2:
Some great advice has already been given about writing & sellling series.  So I'll just add the three important rules to follow for writing any book (especially children's books which are much more challenging than adult books):
1. Read.
2. Write.
3. Repeat #1 and #2 often.

Really, I can't express enough the importance of READING what you want to write.  It seems so simple, but you might be surprised how many writers I meet who say they want to write kid books but don 't read them.  I didn't have any formal writing education, and learned from reading and writing.  I made mistakes along the way and discovered the importance of rewriting.  I also made a lot of wonderful writer friends.

  I love to read kids books and am always excited about discovering new books.  My latest discoveries are THE AMULET OF SAMARKAND, INKHEART, CITY OF EMBER, VOTE FOR LARRY.  I would love to write books like these, but find my talents are more with paranormal mysteries.  And I've learned that it's best to go with my strengths...even though I'd sure love to write something worthy of a Newbery.  I may never win a big award, but series writers win the loyalty of fans and usually receive lots of fan mail.  So I'm very happy writing series.

Have fun reading and writing...Linda
Author of SNOW DOG, SAND DOG, THE SEER, DEAD GIRL, GOTH GIRL series & in 2015: CA$H KAT
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