So my question becomes: in our reading world today does the standalone have as much of a chance as a sequel, trilogy or series of books? I'm currently playing with the idea of bringing in secondary characters that could possibly create another book, but when I'm writing I usually like to start fresh with a new idea for each book. If I'm looking at it from a selling standpoint there is the possibility that if I write a continuation it's bound to sell more books because if they liked the first, then odds are they would like the second. If they didn't like the first novel, probably they're not going to take a chance on anything I write again. Readers tend to be set in their ways, I have found. It's hard to change someone's mind if they didn't like a book an author wrote, but that's a topic for another time.
The artistic side of me says that you write the story where it needs to go and not worry about the end game. If it's meant to be part of a series then it will and I think it might make me too much of a "book machine" to plan ahead that way. I love to write and have always just written what I want, when I want. However, now I have to think somewhat about the end game and what the readers, publishers, agents, etc. want--not necessarily only what I want. It's a good thing that I love to write almost anything so I can go where the stories take me. Any advice on series, fellow authors?
Sounds off, writers!