Monday, January 6, 2014

What is a Stand Alone Series?

Everyone is familiar with the book series: Twight, Harry Potter, Pretty Little Liars, for example. These types of series involve the same set of characters, the same setting and often complete a story arc from book 1 to the final book. Some like Pretty Little Liars can go indefinitely but usually revolve around the lives of a set of characters introduced in the first book.

But there's a new kid on the series block. (Okay, I don't know if it's new, but it's fairly new to me.) The "series" that is basically stand alone books linked by overlapping characters and settings.

Some authors are finding huge success with this type of series. Belle Andre is probably the leader in this category, with her ongoing Sullivan family series. Each book features a new Sullivan family member and each is a complete story on its own. Belle Andre was recently interviewed by Bookbub and is worth reading (link).

Other authors finding success writing linking stand alone books are Melinda Leigh and her She Can Series(link) (romantic thriller/suspense), and Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss).

More readers are turning to companion book series because they find they're suffering from series fatigue - a malady resulting from the recent onslaught of series and trilogies where one has to read on and on and on to get to the end of the story arc.

The other side of this is the stand-alone book, which can provide a quicker resolution to the story, but readers often loath saying good-bye to characters and new worlds they've spent several hours investing in.

The companion books series is a reasonable answer to both issues. Story arcs resolved without having to say goodbye completely.

This is a perfect scenario for me as a writer. I don't have what it takes to write an on-going series (believe me I've tried and three books for one story is the most I've got in me.) But I do like to spring board off of characters and settings I've already established, because I also get attached! :)

This is why I'm loving my new project so much. It's a series of stand alone books set in the singer-songwriter world, a world I'm familiar with after being married to one for almost 27 years.

So let me introduce THE MINSTREL SERIES.  And don't miss out on entering the contest at the end!

Sun & Moon by Lee Strauss
(Book One in the Minstrel Series)

Coming January 26th!

If you’re a fan of the movie Inside Llewyn Davis, ABC television’s Nashville or Colleen Hoover’s upcoming novel, "Maybe Someday", the Minstrel Series is for you!

The Minstrel Series is a collection of contemporary romance novels set in the singer/songwriter world. The books are companion novels, with shared settings and characters, but each are complete standalone stories with a HEA (happily ever after) and no cliffhangers!

She has a past. He has a secret.
Katja Stoltz is a risk-taking singer-songwriter hoping to make it in the indie music scene in Dresden, Germany. Micah Sturm's a brooding uptown banker on a quest.

Driven to the streets, Katja is picked up by Micah - but he doesn't want what she thinks he does.

There’s an undeniable attraction between them, a gravitational pull they both struggle to resist. Katja knows she mustn’t fall in love with this handsome enigma. There’s something dark lurking beneath the surface. He could be dangerous.

And even if her life isn’t on the line, her heart most definitely is.

*not erotica - no explicit sex or coarse language

This series is an exciting collaboration between Lee Strauss as an Indie Author and several very talented Indie Singer-Songwriters. Four original songs produced by Norm Strauss(link) are featured in Sun & Moon and are performed by award-winning Canadian singer-songwriter KimMcMechan(link). MP3 links are included at the end.

Check out the music video!

All the songs from the Minstrel Series can be found at Bandcamp (link)

The Minstrel Series also has its own Facebook page(link). Go Like it to follow all the upcoming Minstrel Series news!

Pre- orders now available at the pre-release price of 2.99! (price goes up after launch)

itunes | kobo | Barnes & Noble

Lee is giving away prizes to celebrate the upcoming launch of Sun & Moon

Enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card, MP3s of all four songs featured on Sun & Moon, and a 12 month calendar from Dresden, Germany featuring many of the settings found in Sun & Moon.

Dresden, Germany

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I've really enjoyed reading companion sets. I look forward to more! I'm loving Sun and Moon.

    fyi - none of your links are clickable and when I press enter it won't accept it.

    1. I enjoy companion books too. Glad you're enjoying the arc of Sun & Moon!

      The links work for me. Some words are just highlighted and not links which is why I put the word "link" by the actual links.

  2. Congratulations on your Minstrel series, Elle! So exciting. I'm amazed by authors who write series. I've only written standalone books!

  3. Congrats on your series, Elle. I still like the trilogies if they're good, but I can see how companion books are a great way to still sort of have a stand alone book and a series. Didn't realize how popular they are becoming. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  4. Thanks for the shout-out. I love the term companion books. I"m always torn with the series tag for books that are linked but also stand alone reads. Good luck with the release.

    1. You're welcome and thanks for dropping by!

  5. I LOVE Sun & Moon! And I love how you matched the music with the story... Great post! :) <3

  6. I called my Spirit series a cycle--each book has its own MC, linked in some way to the MC of the previous book, but each also has its own story arc. They'll all come together in the last book.

  7. What an amazing cross marketing strategy! Love it!

  8. I love the idea of a series of stand alone novels. It's exactly what I've planned for myself this year :-) And how exciting to have a collaboration with some singer-songwriters! It's like a soundtrack to go with your book :-)

  9. I'm a huge fan of stand alone novels based off a series. And wow, girl, I didn't know you collaborated with a singer, how fun!!!

  10. Nice to see Elle/Lee here. Good luck with your book. Companion books can be an interesting point of view from a character who didn't get the main spotlight in the first book. I can see how that would work to be expanded.