Well, it’s been almost a year since I published the first volume of my Any Tomorrow Trilogy. And I must say that the results have been remarkably unremarkable. I made a decision to break up my 300K word novel into three parts, but my feeling is now that it just hasn’t worked. Lots of potential readers have downloaded samples and a few took advantage when I offered Any Tomorrow: The Calling for free from Smashwords, but not enough have actually purchased my books for me to call it a success.
Breaking up a single story into three books also presents some problems besides sales, such as:
- instead of one book I have three books to market simultaneously,
- I have three book descriptions to write,
- when I ask for a review, most reviewers want to review one book―not three,
- and after long reflection, I don’t think each of the books stands independent of the others.
That last point is probably the most important. For a good trilogy to work, each book has to tell a complete story but leave the reader yearning for more. I don’t think mine hold up to that requirement. So what do I do next? I need a fairly quick solution since I’m in the middle of writing two other novels.
I am considering reconstituting the original version as a single volume, publishing it with the title of Any Tomorrow, and including some additional content. I’m also considering publishing it exclusively on Amazon (at least at the beginning) since I really haven’t gained anything from publishing on Smashwords. And if I do go that route, I’d probably take advantage of Amazon Select.
Reconstituting the original version also has another advantage. If I were to try the traditional publishing route, I would definitely pitch it as a single volume. I would now have that volume ready to go.
So what do you think?
As a reader, do you like a series of books where each installment leaves you hanging? Or do you want the whole story at once? I really value your opinion, so tell me about it.
And you writers, have you had luck with a trilogy? Whether you have tips or horror stories, let me know.