Stand-Alone Fantasy

Questions for the resident (former) agent

Stand-Alone Fantasy

Postby dios4vida » 20 Dec 2012, 15:25

Hi Nathan, I hope you're enjoying New York and getting settled in!!

I've got a general market trend question for you.

The last several books I've written have all been stand-alone fantasies with little to no potential for a sequel. Looking at the market, though, the fantasy genre is flooded with series. It's so rare to find a stand-alone fantasy, I can't hardly think of any off the top of my head. Do you think querying a stand-alone fantasy would make agents and publishers turn away, worried that a single novel will be either a one-hit wonder or not appeal to the market who's accustomed to three, five, thirteen books in a series? I know "they" say to make sure the first book in a series stands alone so if it flops the publisher isn't committed, but is writing a stand-alone that ties up all the plots at the end dangerous for potential publication?

Thanks so much for all you do with the forums and your blog and such. Take care and Merry Christmas!! :)

Brenda
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
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Re: Stand-Alone Fantasy

Postby Nathan Bransford » 22 Dec 2012, 11:55

dios4vida wrote:Hi Nathan, I hope you're enjoying New York and getting settled in!!

I've got a general market trend question for you.

The last several books I've written have all been stand-alone fantasies with little to no potential for a sequel. Looking at the market, though, the fantasy genre is flooded with series. It's so rare to find a stand-alone fantasy, I can't hardly think of any off the top of my head. Do you think querying a stand-alone fantasy would make agents and publishers turn away, worried that a single novel will be either a one-hit wonder or not appeal to the market who's accustomed to three, five, thirteen books in a series? I know "they" say to make sure the first book in a series stands alone so if it flops the publisher isn't committed, but is writing a stand-alone that ties up all the plots at the end dangerous for potential publication?

Thanks so much for all you do with the forums and your blog and such. Take care and Merry Christmas!! :)

Brenda


Hello! I think it couldn't hurt in your query to leave open the idea that your novel could stand alone or could be made into a series. Even if that's not how you originally conceived of the storyline, if that's what the agent thinks is best you can go that route.

But ultimately if an agent really loves the book but wants it to be a series they'd let you know. Good luck!
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Re: Stand-Alone Fantasy

Postby jollyllp » 26 Jun 2013, 02:30

Fantasy usually takes time to build up. There are worlds to introduce, magic systems with rules and characters that are many shades of grey. This is why so many fantasy books these days are trilogies or series. A few recent ones come to mind; Name of the Wind, The Warded Man and Mistborn to name a few.......
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