This month we’re talking single title vs. series. I’d like to find out what you think about book series that are also designed as stand-alone reads, where there is a common theme tying all the stories together into a loose collection based around a defined group of characters, but where each story can also be read on its own – in any order.
Are there advantages to being able to pick up any book in a series – even the latest one – and read it without having to play “catch-up” with the storyline? Are there advantages to being able to pick and choose which books in a series appeal to you and which don’t?
I’m hoping the answer is yes, as I’ve created just that kind of series with my GODS OF LOVE novellas.
When I started writing PLATINUM PASSION, the first in the series, it was going to be a one-off novella featuring a married couple in need of a spark who meet the sexy god Eros on the eve of their twentieth anniversary.
But when I began researching Eros, I discovered a group of gods known as the erotes. Each of these sexy heroes was calling out for his own story, and the idea morphed into a series of stand-alone novellas that can be read in any order, but with a common theme showing that even the gods themselves are not immune from the influence of love.
Beyond the erotes in the first three novellas, I also found space for Aphrodite herself, the mother of the erotes and the goddess of desire, who meets three emotionally damaged firefighters in IMMORTAL SEDUCTION (#4).
The final two (upcoming) releases include DEMON OF ENVY featuring Phthonos, god of envy, and ICE QUEEN, in which Eros himself will have to call upon the strength of the erotes to thaw his lover’s heart.
It was important to me that each of these stories work as a stand-alone, so that readers can sample the series in any order. While there is a common theme and some cross-over of characters, each story is unique in itself and does not require that the reader start at #1 and work through chronologically.
So what do you think? Do you prefer to have one story arc from start to finish in the book series you read, or is there is room for individual stand-alone stories within a wider – and common – world?
When Jennifer is not writing what her family and friends call “porn for chicks” and what she prefers to call “super-hot romance for intelligent readers”, she’s working in the day job, running around after teenage children and trying to find time for her new husband. She is published with Red Sage and Breathless Press, and is indie-published with her GODS OF LOVE romance series featuring erotic Greek gods and modern-day mortals in need of sexual healing. Find out more at her website or connect on Facebook or Twitter.