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BrookieCookie777
06-11-2007, 04:01 AM
Hi guys! =) My agent and I are working on a Christian children's book series. She needs outlines of each book and some remain unwritten as of now. How many books are in a normal series? I was thinking 5 but have 7 ideas. Which could always be cut down to 5 . . . any thoughts guys?

Thanks!

PattiTheWicked
06-11-2007, 04:06 AM
Um, that's kind of something you have to decide on your own, there's no set number.

As an example, Margaret Peterson Haddix' "Among the Hidden" series has about seven books. Mary Pope Osborne has written over forty Magic Tree House books. The Boxcar Children series has at least thirty titles that I know of. Pony Pals has about twenty, as does Animal Ark. The Narnia Chronicles have seven, as will Harry Potter. A Series of Unfortunate Events just came out with (I think) the 14th title.

It all depends on how much story you have to tell. There's no "normal series" at all.

I'd suggest you ask your agent how many books she's willing to represent at once.

Sassenach
06-11-2007, 04:29 AM
Hi guys! =) My agent and I are working on a Christian children's book series. She needs outlines of each book and some remain unwritten as of now. How many books are in a normal series? I was thinking 5 but have 7 ideas. Which could always be cut down to 5 . . . any thoughts guys?

Thanks!

These are questions to ask your agent.

BrookieCookie777
06-11-2007, 05:08 AM
Thanks Patti and Sass! This is truly helpful! =) Perhaps I will go with what I have now and see if this can be added on to on down the line? Thanks gals! Hugs, Hugs, Hugs! God bless you guys.

Branwyn
06-11-2007, 05:12 AM
I can't remember the name, but there's an author that's working through the alphabet. A is for Alibi...

Legionsynch
06-11-2007, 05:14 AM
Sue Grafton. :)

Christine N.
06-11-2007, 06:35 AM
Yes, it's all up to you. Originally I though I was going to write seven in my series, but now that I'm on book three I think I'm only going to do five. I know what the last one is going to be about, which means I have one more to work out.

I think JKR went with seven because British schools are for seven years.

Claudia Gray
06-11-2007, 07:14 AM
It depends. I think you have to have three books before it's even up to a series (before, it would just be a book and a sequel, I guess), but after that, the sky's the limit. My series is four, Tiffany Trent has a 10-book series coming out soon and multi-author series can go on without end.

justpat
06-11-2007, 04:46 PM
I don't know, is more than one a series?

I've even seen several "Trilogies" with four, five, even six books in them. Now what's with that?

Jamesaritchie
06-11-2007, 04:55 PM
I don't know, is more than one a series?

I've even seen several "Trilogies" with four, five, even six books in them. Now what's with that?

Four, five, and six are no longer trilogies. When the fourth book is written. the trilogy becomes a tetralogy, when the fifth is written, it becomes a pentalogy, when the sixth is written, it becomes a hexology, etc.

Jamesaritchie
06-11-2007, 04:57 PM
Hi guys! =) My agent and I are working on a Christian children's book series. She needs outlines of each book and some remain unwritten as of now. How many books are in a normal series? I was thinking 5 but have 7 ideas. Which could always be cut down to 5 . . . any thoughts guys?

Thanks!

There is no set number. If the first book doesn't sell well, there will be no series. If the books do sell well, there will be as many books as the writer wants to write, or as many as the public will buy.

justpat
06-11-2007, 05:03 PM
Four, five, and six are no longer trilogies. When the fourth book is written. the trilogy becomes a tetralogy, when the fifth is written, it becomes a pentalogy, when the sixth is written, it becomes a hexology, etc.

But, I've seen it where they still call them trilogies. As in, "The fourth book in the exciting xxxx trilogy." I laughed so hard I had to buy the book.

BrookieCookie777
06-11-2007, 05:14 PM
I can't remember the name, but there's an author that's working through the alphabet. A is for Alibi...


The alphabet thing. That's really cute for kids. What a neat idea! =) That makes me feel better about trying to sell a longer series. Thanks!

BrookieCookie777
06-11-2007, 05:15 PM
Thanks everyone. All this info really helps! I don't know what I'd do without you Aw guys and gals!

justpat
06-11-2007, 05:35 PM
Janet Evanovich is doing a series with numbers in the titles. She is up to 13 I think. This is much smarter than the alphabet because now she won't run out after... what, 25 or 26 letters?

Shady Lane
06-11-2007, 06:34 PM
I like my series 1 book long.

Jamesaritchie
06-11-2007, 06:42 PM
But, I've seen it where they still call them trilogies. As in, "The fourth book in the exciting xxxx trilogy." I laughed so hard I had to buy the book.

I've seen it, too, and in a sense it's correct IF the trilogy was really finished, such as Asimov's Foundation trilogy.

And too many people, even in publishing, have no clue what comes after "trilogy."

JimmyB27
06-11-2007, 07:45 PM
Hi guys! =) My agent and I are working on a Christian children's book series. She needs outlines of each book and some remain unwritten as of now. How many books are in a normal series? I was thinking 5 but have 7 ideas. Which could always be cut down to 5 . . . any thoughts guys?

Thanks!

So long as you don't take eleventy million books to tell a three book story **coughRobertJordancough**, you can have as many as you like.



But, I've seen it where they still call them trilogies. As in, "The fourth book in the exciting xxxx trilogy." I laughed so hard I had to buy the book.


Robert Rankin has a 'trilogy in five parts', but that's a deliberate tongue in cheek thing.

Sassenach
06-11-2007, 08:54 PM
Janet Evanovich is doing a series with numbers in the titles. She is up to 13 I think. This is much smarter than the alphabet because now she won't run out after... what, 25 or 26 letters?

Since they're both phenomenally successful, I think not.

justpat
06-11-2007, 09:03 PM
Will she make up letters for after 'Z'? Or just start back at 'A' again? Maybe 'AA'?

Sassenach
06-11-2007, 09:05 PM
It doesn't really matter...she has a huge fan base who'll buy whatever she publishes.

reenkam
06-11-2007, 09:20 PM
I think when they say a fourth book in a trilogy it's because it was supposed to be a trilogy and that's what's on all the previously printed copies and that's what people know but because it was successful the author made another, making it a series. But they still call it a trilogy because, well, people know it as that. Garth Nix wrote the Abhorsen trilogy and then a fourth "book" came out which was really a novella and some short stories, but it was called the fourth in the Abhorsen Trilogy.

I know that Tamora Pierce tends to do a series as a group of four called quartets. Then she expands them. So she has the Circle of Magic Quartet followed by The Circle Opens Quartet (i think that's the name...) followed by The Will of the Empress stand-alone. Together they're all a series, but it's made up of 2 quartet sets and a single.

I say anything past three can be called a series.

amber_grosjean
06-12-2007, 12:35 AM
I think it does become a series when the fourth book is written and published. Publishers like series because they know the writer will continue working with them which means more money for both of you. For them it is about money, for you its more about getting read. At least it is for me lol. When I said "you" I meant in general by the way lol. Everyone is right though. There is no set number on how many books make a series. You can write 100 books if you wanted to. I don't think you would but it is possible. I am in the process of writing a series too. I'm still working on finding a publisher for the first book but I am being patient because I know it will sell. I've published 2 books now that I wrote much later than that first book so it will take time. Now that I have a little experience, I can try those other houses again.

With a great story, keep the books coming as long as your readers want. Don't sell them short, keep 'em coming. You build a readership with each book you put out there. You might end up being the next best writer out there so good luck and have fun with it!
Amber

BrookieCookie777
06-12-2007, 01:00 AM
Thanks Amber! This is very helpful. I hope you find a home for you series! =)

God bless!