The Art of Series Writing: Insights from Charlotte E. English

There's a special kind of magic in writing a series. It's not just about telling one story, it's about creating a whole world that readers can get lost in.

This connection between author and reader is a beautiful thing, and it can be a real boon for your writing career.

Take Charlotte E. English, for example. Her captivating fantasy series has readers hooked, constantly wanting more. 

In this interview, Charlotte shares her insights on how crafting a series can grow a devoted fanbase, increase royalties, and simplify marketing strategies.

Charlotte E. English

Charlotte is a British-born fantasy author who has found a home for her stories in the Netherlands. She's a self-published writer, weaving colorful tales through series like Draykon and The Malykant Mysteries. Known for her prolificacy, Charlotte continues to delight readers with new releases, with recent titles like The Court at Castle Chansany keeping fans turning pages.

Charlotte E. English distributes Wonder Tales, Tales of Aylfenhame, The Draykon Series via PublishDrive.


1. Can you tell us how writing a book series has impacted your royalty earnings compared to standalone novels? Have you seen a rise in sales thanks to the series format?

Yes, I have consistently seen a rise in sales for books marketed as a series. Readers love returning to a world they've found absorbing and characters they've become attached to, and will happily burn through many titles in a series. Often the best way to boost your earnings as an author is to write another book in a series that's developing a following. This is particularly true in my genre, fantasy, where series - at minimum, trilogies - tend to be the expectation, and readers are used to engaging with very long-form stories. 

2. How does a series affect reader engagement?

The more stories a reader can devour about their favourite characters, the more engaged they are likely to become, and the more immersed in the world. Series help to build not an audience that's not just readers, but enthusiastic fans. Reading the next book feels like visiting with friends; it's familiar, comforting, and extra fun. It can be hard to write fantasy standalones, in fact, because readers expect another book and they will ask for it!

3. How does your marketing strategy for a series differ from a standalone book? Do you find it easier to promote subsequent books in the series because of the established fanbase?

It's definitely easier to promote subsequent books in a series, once you've built an audience for it. That said, marketing long series can be challenging over time, as it often comes down to promoting the same book 1 over and over again; eventually there can be a problem of diminishing returns. It can help to collect the first few titles into a box set, which gives you another series-starter to promote. If you're writing a very long series, it can also help to build in another entry-point partway through - another book new readers could begin with, and which will give you something else to promote.

4. What are some of the challenges and rewards specific to writing a book series?

For me the biggest reward to writing a series is the reader engagement - there can be such excitement building up when there's a new title coming out. It's a great way to build a community and engage with readers, when everyone is speaking the kind of shared language that comes from loving the same series. The biggest challenge, for me, is the very longevity of it. Keeping an ever-expanding library of characters, plots and sub-plots, world building, and so on fresh in my mind so I can continue to write new titles - that's easy enough at first, but gets progressively harder the longer the series becomes. 

5. What advice would you give to aspiring authors who are considering writing a book series?

My advice to anybody beginning a new series is: keep extensive notes! You won't think you'll need them when you're just writing book one, but believe me, you will later. I keep stacks of notes about each recurring character, about ongoing plot-threads, and of course about all the world details I'll need to remember for future titles.

Key Takeaways: Why Book Series Are a Great Option for Authors

  • Series drive sales: Especially in fantasy, readers crave long-form stories and happily purchase multiple books in a series.
  • Series build fanbases: Readers become attached to the characters and world, transforming them from readers to enthusiastic fans.
  • Series marketing is easier (at first): Promoting subsequent books leverages the existing fanbase, but keeping momentum for long series can be tricky.
  • Series offer unique rewards: Engaging with a passionate reader community and building a shared experience are fulfilling aspects of writing a series.
  • Series require extensive planning: Keeping track of characters, plots, and world details becomes increasingly challenging as the series progresses. Detailed notes are crucial.

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