I have a question on publishing and i do not know if it's been asked many times over...
If I have a planned series (possibly spanning a couple books with 'generations' as well) but only typed up the first book and half of the second, would it be great to get the first book published BEFORE I finish the next books in the series or after i finished the second book and looked over it time and time again with a scheduled release. I ask this because one day I may plan to submit my series as a book or may go the extra mile and straight to video format.
Books like Lord of the Rings, Eragon, Harry Potter and so on are series of books and I never really got into the mindset of how they got about the first book to publish with many more on the way or already done. Do they just say they have more books plan ahead of time or i will write more after first is published and popular enough?
AFAIK, agents look for the proverbial best of both worlds --- a book that could potentially work as either a "standalone", or the first of a series. And why wouldn't they . . . that maximizes overall sales potential
The things that agents and publishers say don't always seem to make sense, but a lot of that is because any discussion of storylines they haven't even glanced at yet must necessarily deal in abstract concepts.
Unfortunately for authors, the market for fiction has a problem: overall, the demand for fiction is much smaller than the supply of fiction. Heck, the demand is even smaller than the supply of "excellent" fiction.
The demand isn't getting lower because of price --- the price is falling. The demand is getting lower because the people who enjoy fiction often don't have enough TIME to find (let alone READ) all the fiction that's out there. Even if you were guaranteed to love 100% of the books you read, you'll probably never get to all the books you'd enjoy that are available in your lifetime.
So it's tough. Most people in the industry are just doing the best they can, their way.
Vglory already basically answered the main part of your question, but I'll clarify a little bit more. You want to only query your first book and try to get a deal for that one first (and mention that it has series potential in your query letter if you'd like). Most times, series are created based on the demand of the book and how well it sells. If your first book bombs and doesn't sell well enough, chances are, your agent and publisher aren't going to invest all that time and money into other books for a series. It's always best to focus on your first book and query that one, with mention that it has series potential. Then, go from there
I won't make negative criticism of publishers, as I understand they are out to make a business and they generally make an honest business of it, however not all publishers (or film studios for that matter) are known for being entirely open to certain ideas.
George Lucas comes to mind... But I suppose his example is rather complicated.
I simply wonder if every author, no matter of their moral ideals or expression, can be published because of the implied moral stigma of the industry. But as I said, "implied". So would you consider that most publishers suffer from a moral stigma that could lead to some authors being given the cold shoulder?
Oh, by no means do I want to bring negative image on all publishers. I just hear so much about stigma, and it really is a psychological issue in human period to evolve in a society of stigmas. But yes, respect for one's "investors" is indeed something that doesn't surprise me. I wouldn't publish with someone I don't respect.