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Writing Books/How can I submit a series


Thank you for taking my question. I am a first time writer and I have written (so far), a 192 single space story which consist of about 91,274 words. I can easily write at least 10 - 15 more pages to end my story but to be truthful I don't want to end it just yet. My question is, should I go ahead and end my science fictional story or could I have a good open ended stopping point and submit as a series? I do have a outline for book 2.

Hi, L. Marie!

Sorry for the delay in responding. I lost internet connection for a few days. The first thing you'll need to do is to make that manuscript into a double spaced manuscript. That's what publishers are going to want when you're ready to submit. Next, page count does little good when approaching a publisher. You always want to give the word count, and I'd recommend you estimate it to "approximately 90,000 words" when querying.

As to the issue of a standalone or a series, remember that a publisher is under NO obligation to buy more than a single book, so the book must stand alone and provide a satisfying ending so that if book 2 never sees the light of day, the reader is still happy.

Take, for example, the movie Star Wars. If The Empire Strikes Back and the others had never been made, people would still be happy with the ending of the movie. The battle was won. You knew there was still a larger war, and bad guys to be fought, but for that moment of time, all was well. The same for the SF classic Dune and many others. Yes, there were sequels. But the first book could stand alone.

Make sure your book creates that same response in the reader. "For the moment, all is well." If there's a sequel, nifty. But if not, they're still happy.

Only you can judge whether your manuscript will do that if you end now or finish up the last few chapters.

Good luck!


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Cathy Clamp


I'm happy to answer questions about any aspect of writing novels, from the beginning kernel of an idea through completion. I can help with writing a query letter and synopsis to an agent or editor. I can explain publishing terminology and acronyms. I can also assist with questions about verifying the credentials of agents/publishers and how to proceed once you've been accepted for publication. I can teach the rules of formatting a manuscript, creating viable plots, characterization and flow in the following genres: romance, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, suspense, horror, women's fiction, mainstream and mystery.


I'm a USA Today bestselling author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Tor/Forge Books. Along with a co-author, I've published fifteen novels (combination of mass market and trade softcover) since 2003, and have contracts for four more books through 2011.

Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Outdoor Writers, Horror Writers of America.

Tor/Forge Books, Western Reflections Publishing, BenBella Books, Running Press, Wild Child Publishing. Many others.

My educational background is limited to real life experience of publishing novels commercially for the past five years.

Awards and Honors
USA Today bestseller, Waldenbooks Mass Market Paperback Top 20 bestseller, Nielsen BookScan Top 20 bestseller, RT BOOKreviews Career Achievement Award winner, 2009, Book Buyers Best Award for Paranormal, Romantic Times Best Werewolf Novel, Write Touch Readers Award, EVVY Best Historical Chronicle Award, The Lories Best Paranormal. Many others.

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