Outline Your Book Series To Sell More Books And Keep Readers Buying

Book Series Sells

A series of books can make your book more marketable. Readers who love your character will enjoy a story series as they can follow the characters on new adventures. The reader will have another opportunity to spend time with their favorite protagonist… or villain.

Writers should consider writing series. How do they begin? What kind of plan would you have for a new series? What is the plan for a series?

There are two types of book series

This will change the way you plan. You will need to change your planning.

1. Finite series

This is an ongoing series with multiple books. The storyline follows the same thread throughout. One book cannot contain the entire story. Tolkien or George R. R. Martin can be used as examples. The story doesn't end until the last volume in the series. The books in an infinite series must be read from beginning to end.

2. Infinite Series

The series consists of multiple books, each one containing a self-contained story but following the same cast. Kinsey Milhone, a character by Sue Grafton, faces a different challenge with each book. The books can be read out of order and are stand-alone.

We'll start with some basics for any series before we get into the specifics of each type.

Character Bible

They will continue to read your books because they like the characters. For a successful series, you must have a cast of strong characters that you know well. Their strengths, weaknesses and other characteristics lead them from one book to the next.

From each perspective, the character who is telling your story will be a protagonist. You will create rich and diverse backgrounds for every character.

Characters that are a part of the series will be your best choice.

  • The protagonist will be the main character. As you write more books, readers will want to learn more about their fictional friend.
  • The story's protagonist is placed in the context of the world by his friends and neighbors These characters lend realism to both the world in which the protagonist lives and its setting.
  • Opposition characters cause problems. Even the noblest of heroes is not liked by all. Your hero and heroine will clash with weaker characters because of envy or jealousy. As your protagonist overcomes obstacles and conflicts, the reader will empathize with them. Learn more about conflict.
  • The villain is your main adversary. The antagonist is the main opponent.
  • A love-interest can be used to help your hero deal with his emotions. Your series may have unrequited feelings or your love interest could be your protagonist's soulmate, helping him through his challenges. Each book in an episodic story may feature a different love-interest.

Introduce the characters in your series early, but slowly reveal their backstory.

You can add more details on the character, such as their motivation, personality, quirks, favourite sayings, or psychological background. You can use more material in your series if you have more information.

World and Set

Your characters in the series will act and move within your story. It is important to keep the details consistent. Research is required to create a fictional world that can be set in any time period, including the future.

  • Geography shows your readers the location of the story. Your story can take place anywhere, from the earth to another galaxy. However, you need your readers to be able tell where each character is in every scene.
  • Culture provides the background for characters to do business, travel, eat, and think about politics. You want to know more than just the details of your society.
  • Climate impacts your characters' behavior. Does it rain all the time? Are they able to see through the fog? Are they tired from the sun?
  • Time indicates the passage in time. It gives the scene a mood. It is primarily used to convey a feeling of motion in the story.
  • Housing Details will help your reader to understand the immediate environment.

To help your characters move through the scene, you will need to know about furniture, appliances, and the floor plan.

You'll have a huge amount of material to work with. Your reader will need to have a good sense of your surroundings.

Theme of the Series

The central idea in a series is its theme. The theme will inform the main character's motivation, goal and threats.

The theme of your stories should be a central part of them. The challenges faced by a hero who is able to save the world from evil plots will be different than those of two friends who enjoy solving mysteries.

The theme you choose will help you to keep the same tone throughout the entire series. Readers will become disappointed if one novel is ironic and the next is very serious. They may stop reading. It's important that your series has a theme.

How to plot your series

After you've created a series overview with characters and a world that reflects your theme, plot the stories for each book in the series. Each book should add details, conflict, and resolutions to reflect the theme.

  • Finite series

A finite story is told over several books. First, you'll plan the main story. The number of books in your series will determine the storyline you plan to build in each book.

Your series will need turning points and major plot points in order to take the reader from the beginning to the end.

  • At the start

Introduce the main characters of your story and their current circumstances. Next, present the main problem that your character has to solve.

  • Middle

After your protagonist has committed to the goal of the series, he will face many obstacles. Subplots are introduced. They will change their minds as they face new challenges and obstacles. They seem to be stymied by the antagonist at every turn. Start tying subplots together.

  • Finish

In a final showdown, your hero will face the antagonist. The series ends, and the hero receives a revelation, no matter what.

It's a broad brush, but these guidelines will help with your planning.

The challenge of a finite book series is to create a structure that includes a beginning and middle but does not end with the last book.

Each book will have a hook that makes you want to continue reading. The books usually end on a cliffhanger, a new shocking revelation that changes everything or creates a precarious or difficult dilemma.

When planning your entire book series, you can end with major turning points.

  • Infinite Series

When you have created a story's world and characters, as well as presented the main idea, it is time to write as much as possible.

Each book tells a different story. Each book has a different protagonist, different problems, and a different antagonist. You want your protagonist to be a strong character that demonstrates the qualities that readers appreciate in each of his books.

Create as many unique stories as you can. By carefully plotting, you will avoid repetition of the storyline while keeping the main characters. Plotting your storylines will keep them fresh. You may have a lot of fans, but readers still want to hear a good tale.

Selecting Titles

Select a series title that reflects your central theme or main character. Your readers will be able to identify each book in the series. You can use the title of the series for each book.

Each book's title should be consistent with the entire series. The central theme will make it easier for readers to identify the books as part of a series. You can see the titles of other series books that are in your genre. You may see a repeating word, 60s song titles, or a central idea. You have a wide range of options, but if you want to keep your series consistent, choose a title that is based on recurring words, song titles from the 60s, or focuses on a central theme.

The Big Scale Initiative

A successful book-series is all about preparation. Outline a central theme, provide detailed character background for the characters in your series and create a world that is rich with detail. Plan your series' book sequence and story with care.

Your series will be a success if you put the effort into defining your idea and writing each book.


  • tenleylancaster

    Tenley Lancaster is a 34-year-old educational blogger and student. She enjoys writing about topics related to education, including but not limited to student motivation, learning styles, and effective study techniques. Tenley has also written for various websites and magazines, and is currently working on her first book. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.