Today, I’m trying to understand what psychology of the series tag. You know, that whole template every budding indie writer seems to be following these days: The Novel Title (The Series Name, Book X). I understand why people who write series would want to tag their books so readers get them in the right order, but what if you write interconnected books that don’t go in any order? Can you still use the series tag? Does it add value, or will it ultimately hurt more than it helps?
Consider the change I made yesterday to the listing of Por Vida on Amazon:
Say you’re a new reader to my books (fat chance, I know you’ve got ’em all on your Kindle), if you saw the above on Amazon, would you:
- See the word anthology and think unordered series of books taking place in the same universe?
- Feel like you should seek out Book 1 and start there? (assuming the other books were properly labeled)
- Not want to get invested because the series is already four books long (I felt this with the Dark Tower series)
- Close the tab and go browse Reddit for a while
I’m torn between wanting to let people know these books are all connected (based on how excited I get when Stephen King mentions Derry in one of his books) and not wanting them to think its a true series that never finds an ending or that it needs to be read in a certain order.
So I ask you, fellow authors: If you were trying to market standalone novels that shared the same universe, would you use the series tag? Why / why not?
I’d ask my agent, but she lives in Canada. You wouldn’t know her.