I don't know if anyone else has noticed this. Maybe you have. You Inklings, you're pretty smart. But here's the thing - it seems to me to be getting harder and harder to find stand-alone books.
It seems a silly thing to worry about at times. I like series as much as the next reader, and I'm always eager for more of the worlds and characters I grow to love in a single book to show up in more books.
At the same time, owing to my pledge to review whole series rather than one book at a time through a series as I finish them... I feel obligated to read the whole series.
And there's more to it than that! As mentioned in an earlier post (at least, I'm pretty sure I wrote that one... then again, I might have just thought about it a lot) I also feel more than usually guilty about reading the first book in a series and then not reading the rest of them. (Part of why I've never even started the Discworld series - they're just SO LONG, it's a huge investment to get started.)
For a long time now, I've wanted to make sure the first book I publish is a book that can stand on its own. I don't want to be one of those people that starts a series and then can't finish it, or that writes an awesome first book and peters off into obscurity because the sequels are watered down or too weak to hold up when compared to the first.
But my problem is, as it ever has been, with ending a story.
It never feels like the real end. Just as, I suppose, there has never been a true "beginning." There's always something in the process, no matter where I start or stop the tale.
I won't say that using multiple books to tell a story is a bad thing. I love series.
But I wish there were more books that were confident enough to stand alone.