Sustainable Series Strategies

For those of us who like to write genre fiction — the cozy mysteries, the thrillers, the science fiction horror, the fantasy — our books often have the funny habit of turning into series.

Trilogies, and longer series, seem to dominate the market regardless of genre. From a craft perspective, how do you set up a successful series from the start, with characters that continue to be interesting five books in, and plots that are sustainable across hundreds of thousands of words? At what point in your career does it make sense to pitch a series? What are readers hoping to get out of series work, and how long will they wait between installments? Series writers share tips and tricks gained from going through the process.