Mastodon The Writing Desk: Why You Should Consider Writing a Trilogy #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

14 January 2018

Why You Should Consider Writing a Trilogy #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

For most writers, completing one book would seem more than enough of an achievement, so why would anyone make a commitment to writing three?  

There are real benefits of tackling any story as a trilogy and now I’ve written one I’m convinced it’s something any novelist should consider. The scope of a trilogy offers writers a liberating sense of space and freedom, as ideas hinted at in the first book can be developed and explored over the rest. This means the writer has space to explore the complexity of relationships that evolve over time, as well as the shifting social, political and economic context over years – or even generations, offering readers a more ‘immersive’ experience.

There are also practical and commercial considerations. If you follow the fashion for longer books, you have one opportunity to sell it and the promotion can only begin once it’s available for pre-order. I was able to promote book one of my Tudor trilogy while writing book two (and it became a best-seller in the UK, US and Australia.)  Readers began contacting me to ask when the next book would be available and I soon built an international reader base for the trilogy.

Similarly, although each book works as a ‘stand-alone’, I’ve seen evidence in my sales that even people who read them in the wrong order tend to buy the others. I also hadn’t realised Amazon (and other retailers) are happy to promote and market a trilogy (or any series) as a discounted single purchase, which is good value for readers and means your books are more likely to be ‘discovered’.
Finally, a trilogy offers a framework for developing work on an ‘epic’ scale. 

I realised there were countless novels about the court of King Henry VIII and his six wives, yet I could find almost nothing about the early Tudors who founded the dynasty. The idea for The Tudor Trilogy was that King Henry VIII’s father could be born in book one, ‘come of age’ in book two, and rule England in book three, so there would be plenty of scope to explore his life and times.

The first book of the trilogy was my fourth novel, so I had a good idea about the structure. In book one, OWEN, a Welsh servant of Queen Catherine of Valois, the lonely widow of King Henry V, falls in love with her and they marry in secret. Their eldest son Edmund Tudor marries the thirteen year-old heiress Lady Margaret Beaufort, and fathers a child with her to secure her inheritance. The birth of her son, Henry, nearly kills her, and when her husband dies mysteriously, his younger brother Jasper Tudor swears to protect them.

In book two, JASPER, they flee to exile in Brittany and plan to one day return and make Henry King of England. King Richard III has taken the throne and has a powerful army of thousands – while Jasper and Henry have nothing. Even the clothes they wear are paid for by the Duke of Brittany. So how can they possibly invade England and defeat King Richard at the Battle of Bosworth?

In the final book of the trilogy, HENRY, I explore how he brought peace to England by marrying Elizabeth of York, the beautiful daughter of his enemy, King Edward IV. The Tudor trilogy offers me the scope and depth to help readers understand how Henry’s second son became King Henry VIII, the tyrant who transformed the history of England forever. 

Tony Riches

Do you have some great writing tips you would like to share?
Please feel free to comment

The #AuthorToolboxBlogHop is a monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors. Feel free to hop around to the various blogs and see what you learn! The rules and sign-up form are below the list of hop participants. All authors at all stages of their careers are welcome to join in.


  1. Sounds brilliant (the series and the advice). Thanks for sharing.

  2. The series sounds fabulous. They're going on my TBR! Great advice here, Tony. Thanks. I'll throw this up on Facebook next week.

    1. Thanks for all your work with #AuthorToolboxBlogHop Raimey - here's to a successful 2018 :)

  3. I've written a trilogy and I agree, it gives you a lot more room to build a story and grow your characters. Each book also seems to build on the last as far as sales go, too.

  4. I've seen several self-published writers who write trilogies and give the first one away to attract an audience.
    Thanks for sharing

  5. Great ideas for trilogy, Tony. Thanks for sharing these. All the best with your writing endeavors in 2018.

  6. My first songwriting endeavour was a trilogy but (cut long story) I fell out of love with the story before I finished the third book. I may try it again at some point because I know it has great benefits.

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. I used to always have the problem of wanting to write a series after writing one book, which is why I have a series. haha Now, I'm happy to get an idea that could be a standalone. ;)

  8. Yeah, I can see the upside to a trilogy. Thanks for the advice.

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  9. Marketing a series of books is always easier than a single. Really good advice!

  10. Thanks for your insight on the benefits of writing a trilogy. Congratulations on the success of your series and best luck in the future.

  11. On my current manuscript, I started out planning to just write a stand alone, but then realized there was a lot more to the story, so it became a series. Lots of good reasons to write a series. Thanks for sharing! :)

  12. I'm hoping to turn the MS I'm currently querying into a trilogy, so this is great! Thanks for sharing Tony


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