When I wrote Second Time Around, I didn't actually plan for it to be the first in a series. Sure, I realized some readers like series books, but I didn't realize how many of them did.
Within a month of publication, a great number of people who'd read STA asked me when the next book in the series would come out. I told them I was working on it (titled Two-Timed) but was also working on another mystery. You'd have thought I'd given away my firstborn to aliens.
No, no, no! was the resounding response (at least from those who liked the book), you need to continue the story of Jack and Timmie. Well, to tell you the truth, I tend to want to move on once I've finished a book. But readers don't want to hear that. And, as a writer with an ego and head for business, I have to rethink my position. If readers really like my characters and want to read more, who am I to deprive them?
Seriously, what's your preference when it comes to reading series books versus standalones--and why? I'm interested in the perspectives of both readers and writers. If you'd prefer not to leave a comment here, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.