In this blog post I read about an epic fantasy panel at the World Fantasy Convention. What I liked most about the panel was when they spoke about new writers trying to break into epic fantasy. They suggested that new writers would have a harder time trying to sell the typical trilogy, and that they may be better off trying to sell stand-alone epic fantasies, though each book may still reside within the same make-believe world.
Hey, this is what I am already doing! I have five stories prepared within the fantasy world that I created, and I expect I will come up with many more. All of them are so far designed as stand-alone stories. There are some characters who are the same in each, but none of the stories follow directly after another.
I didn't set out to avoid the trilogy model. I set out to write one epic fantasy. But the world I created had a whole history, or the book wouldn't have been any good, and creating that history naturally led to events in other time periods that were interesting enough to warrant books of their own.
So, I like the stone skipping analogy in that blog post. It fits nicely with what I am planning for my own fantasy world. Now if I can only get an agent or publisher to share this vision with me!