About Book Series
by Cindy J. Smith
I will try reading almost any genre, with only a few exceptions. And, until recently, there were only 2 books I started to read but couldn't finish. The House Of Seven Gables was one of the two and I did finally read the entire book. The other, A Tale Of Two Cities will never be read, I mean Dickens couldn't even decide on the setting!
With the deluge of Indie books out there, I have been choosing to spend my money on these types of books. Now my unfinished/never to be finished list has grown considerably. Poorly edited works or ones whose storylines do not seem to make any sense are now left to gather dust in my kindle. It makes me sad when I know with a little more effort the idea they based the books on would have been a fantastic book.
Although this does frustrate me, my real pet peeve is "series" and "cliffhangers". It seems lately almost every Indie Author is writing a series. You pick up a book and are totally enthralled. Then the pages run down and you see the book is not going to be able to pull everything together. The author says the next installment is in the works. So you wait...and you wait.
Then they release a "prequel" to explain how the story actually began. Following this book, they reissue the first book with a new cover saying it has been "re-edited". While you are still waiting to know the end. Years pass and you are still waiting. The author has decided to start a new series. It does sound intriguing but you want to know how the first book ended!
To be fair, Indies are not the only authors doing this. King did his Dark Tower series and by the time he got around to writing the final book, it was obvious even he was sick of it. Harry Potter seemed the same to me, with the last books missing the enthusiasm. Lord Of The Rings and King's The Green Mile were not technically series, they were installment stories. A deadline for each new section was planned. Both were well written and fully developed by the authors.
I want to read entire books. I want the whole story. Right now I have 8 different authors "series" that have been waiting for the next installment for years! I do not remember the characters anymore. I do not care about them anymore. Life is too short to have to reread books to be able to figure out how the current situation came about. If you must write a series...finish it. Do not keep reissuing the same book over and over. Do not write "prequels" or character books to explain how everyone became the character you wrote. Save those books until after YOU FINISH!
Personally, I have started looking in the descriptions to see if books are being promoted as part of a series. If they are, I don't purchase them. If I discover, after the purchase that I am in possession of an unfinished story, I don't buy from the author again. Be upfront. Tell us it is "book 1 of 2" or "book 1 of 14"! I will gladly buy the entire set when it is done. Your fans are waiting! But even loyal fans have expiration dates.
Cindy J. Smith