Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for May: (5/4) Linda Norlander, (5/11) Connie Berry, (5/18) Mary Keliikoa, (5/22) Annette Dashofy, and (5/25) Rosalie Spielman.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Stretched Too Thin??

by Daryl Wood Gerber

The setup:

I’ve had a number of fans ask me: why, when you have a successful series, do you add another? Are you ever afraid that with multiple series, you might be stretching yourself too thin?

Daryl Wood Gerber
 To answer this honestly, authors often don’t get to decide when a series ends. If a publisher kills a series and an author still wants to write, the author adds yet another title or series to her repertoire. Sometimes authors come up with new stories (before a series is canceled) because authors are concerned that the publisher might not pick up the series.  Is the author in a state of panic? No. The author is being realistic.

Act I:

Let’s get a sense of scope here. It takes a new series about 18 months to get off the ground. The author sells the idea, writes the book, and turns it in. That takes about 6 months, give or take. Then the “new” series meets the publisher’s PR and art staff, who go to work putting together the overall design of the series, the initial cover, the blurb that will go on the back of the book or on the inside cover, placement in all their sales magazines, arranging blogs, and reviews, etc. That takes about 12 months. At the same time, the author is receiving pages from the publisher with notes, edits, and final copyedits.

While all that is taking place, the author has to do her own PR work, e.g., getting the new series (book) up on her website with excerpts, answering reader questions, and the like, as well as setting up any promotional materials, blog tours, Facebook posts, etc., that she thinks will enhance her sales and her brand.

Act II:

Let’s say the author is writing one series that will, for example, debut in 2017 and a second in the series is coming out in 2018, but a third is not guaranteed. Hmmm. Dilemma. That’s when the author should be looking ahead to 2019 and deciding what she wants to have ready for her fans. Fans like to be loyal to authors, but if there is a scarcity of books, fans will go find other authors. They’re not fickle; they’re readers. Readers…read.

Act III:

Sad to say, not all talented authors experience a career like James Patterson. That’s why an author is always thinking about the “next best thing” she could write. Remember, authors have to be ahead of the curve at all times. We can’t write what was popular last year. We have to write what might be popular in 18 to 24 months from now. To give you some perspective, the publishing industry is similar to the movie industry and the clothing industry. A movie gets sold, but then it takes 2 years to come to fruition. Will the audience be interested at that time with the theme? Or a dress designer comes up with a design. Will it be au courant in 2 years? Who knows? There are no guarantees. So authors are always thinking outside the box, planning ahead, coming up with the next “big” idea.

Stretched too thin? If everything an author ever writes is sold at one time, then maybe. Could that happen? Ha! An author can dream.

Do you plan ahead and prepare for the unexpected?

BY THE WAY, don’t miss out on the French Bistro-themed BOXES I’m giving away on my Facebook Author page or the set of books I’m giving away to someone who receives my newsletter! Sign up now. Social media links below.

Daryl’s latest book, A Deadly Éclair, the first in the French Bistro Mysteries, debuts November 7.

A Deadly Éclair Jacket Copy

Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro has seemed beyond her grasp ever since she was chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. Fortunately, her best friend Jorianne introduced her to entrepreneur Bryan Baker, who invested in the promising restaurateur’s project. So Mimi works the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own. Now, Mimi is throwing the inn’s very first wedding—the nuptials of famous talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison.

This wedding will be the talk of the town, but anxious Mimi is sure the bride’s puffed-up expectations will collapse, especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner. By the evening, things are looking sweet again…until the next morning, when Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth.
All the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven if Bryan dies. So it’s up to her to éclair—er, clear—her name before the killer turns up the heat again in A Deadly Éclair, Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber’s scrumptious series debut.

BIO: Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the brand new French Bistro Mysteries as well as the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries.  As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. A Deadly Êclair, the first French Bistro Mystery, comes out November 2017. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: Day of Secrets and Girl on the Run. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!




Jim Jackson said...


The thing would-be-authors often neglect is the business side of writing. It makes sense: we work hard to hone our craft, finally create something worth publishing, have to learn new tasks like blurbs and query letters. Someone accepts us and we are ready for a bit of celebration.

But as you point out, that's the part that is at least somewhat under the author's control. And if one wants to make a career out of being an author, we must recognize and address the business aspects.

Even James Patterson promoted the heck out of his first novel. If I recall correctly he even bought full page ads in major newspapers, etc. (Good for him he had already made really big bucks in business).

Best of luck with this one, Daryl.

~ Jim

E. B. Davis said...

Sounds like another delicious series. Where is the new bistro series set? Of course, it will my on my TBR pile! Thanks for your insight.

Shari Randall said...

Thank you, Daryl, for this insider's view. Your bistro series sounds wonderful!

Grace Topping said...

Thank you, Daryl, for joining us today at Writers Who Kill. For all those people who think writing a book or series would be fun, your blog shows that it takes imagination, commitment, and hard work. Congratulations on all your series.

Daryl a.k.a. Avery said...

Jim, you're so right. Oh, if only we had thought to buy entire pages of advertising to promote our books years ago, right! Now, the cost of that is exorbitant. FYI, I think I heard the rumor that Dan Brown sent out over 10,000 review copies for The Da Vinci Code. Correct me if I'm wrong. LOL ~ Daryl

Daryl a.k.a. Avery said...

E.B. - the series is set in the fictional enclave of Nouvelle Vie, which is a small area in Napa Valley. Enjoy. ~ Daryl

Shari, you are welcome. I think it really helps when authors share their stories with other authors. How else can we learn? ~ Daryl

Grace, thanks for having me on as a guest. I love to share with other authors and aspiring writers. ~ Daryl

Warren Bull said...

It's impressive that you have the dedication to keep two series going. More power to you.

Gloria Alden said...

Daryl, you certainly are busy. I don't know how you find the time to write so many series.

Daryl a.k.a. Avery said...

Warren, thanks. I will say it requires wearing extra hats at times! I definitely have to separate the personalities so I don't let them cross over into each other's books! LOL ~ Daryl

Gloria, I was up at 4:30 this morning working on the one I'm turning in today. Last tweaks. Sometimes you just carve out the time, you know? Hugs, Daryl

Kait said...

You are an amazing woman, Daryl, and all I can say is, "Good answer!"

Daryl a.k.a. Avery said...

Wait, thanks so much! Love "Good answer." Ha! ~ Daryl

Daryl a.k.a. Avery said...

Oops - that was supposed to say Kait and it spellchecked to Wait. Bet you get that all the time, right? Sorry. ~ Daryl

KM Rockwood said...

LOL-such an appropriate spellcheck comment! Even someone as talented and hardworking as you, Daryl, prove to us that you are subject to the same problems as the rest of us. You just rise above them and keep on going.

You have my admiration, and I'm sure your series will do well.

Shelly Saini said...
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