With the business of selling books getting more demanding by the minute, it behooves publishers to get on board with doing things differently. While everyone in the business knows this, not everyone truly gets it.
Orca Books is one outfit that has been understanding that message since the outset. The medium-sized Canadian publisher based in Victoria, British Columbia has developed several series intended to inspire readers who’ve liked one book to latch on and select further from an ever-deepening pool of similar books.
One of these is the thriller series Orca calls Seven. Aimed at 10 to 15-year-old readers, the series launched in 2012 with seven linked books from seven different highly regarded authors. Orca explains the premise of the series:
When David McLean, beloved grandfather and avid adventurer, dies at the age of ninety-two, he leaves behind a very unusual will that outlines the seven tasks he has set for his seven grandsons. Eric Walters and six other well — known authors — John Wilson, Ted Staunton, Richard Scrimger, Norah McClintock, Sigmund Brouwer and Shane Peacock — bring their signature styles to a series of adventures that take readers from the top of Kilimanjaro to the bottom of the Mediterranean.
Great idea, right? And it seems to be working, inviting readers to indulge in the literary equivalent of binge-watching a television series. Over 100,000 copies of the original seven have been sold (a good number in Canada) and the house has just followed up with sequels from each author, labeling the project “The Seven Sequels” and anchoring it with its own web site. All 14 books now in the series are linked, but can be read out of sequence or even on their own.