Question & AnswersCategory: WritingWriting a series of novels
Amy asked 2 years ago

Hello, I wanted to ask whether you are put off by query letters that say the novel is part of a ‘planned series’? I’m trying to decide whether or not to include this information in my query. I feel that i ought to because it becomes clear from the synopsis that the conclusion is not an all-round one, but i’m concerned whether it scuppers the chances of even getting to the synopsis stage? thank you for your time.

1 Answers
Sarah Davies Staff answered 2 years ago

Hi Amy
It’s a good idea to given an agent (and subsequently, editors) as much flexibility as possible in assessing your work. If you present a series as a fait accompli then we’ve no choice but to view it in that way. And it’s not always easy to commit to five books (or however many!). I suggest you say that the book “stands alone”, but there’s “potential for sequels”.  That way, we can make our own decisions. And whether you’re writing a standalone OR a series, that first book still needs to be a self-contained story, with a really satisfying conclusion – not a cliffhanger, designed to keep the reader waiting till the next book comes along. The one exception to this is if you’re writing a young chapter-book series (say, between 5000-25,000 words), which is conceived as either “character led” or “concept led”.  In that case, it helps to know you have a series mapped out. But for anything older, give us options.  
Hope this helps.
Sarah