On Tuesday 12th of March the Top Ten Tuesday theme was: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel. At first glance I thought I’d have a lot of books to use for the theme. The more I tried to think about it, the more I realised that I don’t. The ones that stick out to me like a sore thumb, the ones I can’t stop remembering – no matter how much I try – are the ones that are left unfinished. Obviously, that’s two very different matters. In the first one it’s just the readers interpretation or wishful thinking. The second one is worse, at least for me, because that always leaves me feeling let down.
Most recently it happened with an author that I’ve been very supportive of. Not only have I read each of her books. I’ve spent hours BETA reading for her – going through every single page with a fine comb to help find spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes and of course the biggest one: plot and/or character mistakes. Then later on I’ve also ARC read the book. I’ve prepared lengthy reviews and song her praises. Despite receiving free review copies, I’ve also purchased most of her books, because I really liked them and wanted to support her as an author. Needless to say that, in my own self righteous mind, I’ve went above and beyond – not out of duty, every single thing I’ve done has been 100% voluntarily.
Last year the author started a long awaited series, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I loved the books and kept impatiently waiting for more. As the months went by I started wondering what was going on. There was no new books released books in the series, the author ignored questions in the Facebook group when readers asked when the next book was coming out. Then all of a sudden out of the blue, the author released other books. New series started, older ones were wrapped up. But nothing from the series fans were waiting on. Then in winter the author broke the silence regarding the series, and basically told readers that the series wasn’t doing well enough economically. So its not economically worth it, to keep writing this series when other ones do better.
As a reader I was very surprised about this announcement. Because there were a lot of people in the Facebook group, whom obviously wanted more. The author group isn’t extraordinary big so in numbers it might not be many. But in percentage it was close to 70%. The author informed people in the group that in order to make worthwhile to write the books, the author considered pulling them from Kindle Unlimited and instead come up with another scheme. Something where readers, ahead of publication, could pay for the books. That way the author would be able to keep up her earnings. And I was shocked to say the least! I might just be naive, but I’ve never heard about anything like it before. And it got me thinking: what about the £10.85 I’ve forked out on an incomplete series? How is that lucrative for me?
I understand that being an author is a job. They perform a task and want to be paid, just like everyone else. Because in short IT IS A BUSINESS. And every business wants to make a profit. I also understand that it takes hard work and dedication to write and publish books. That’s why I like to purchase the books I really like. But a part of me can’t help but think, that stopping a promised series, that readers have already spent money on, is NOT okay. I know there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s not breaking any rules or laws. But to me, it’s ruining my respect for the author. And it doesn’t make me want to help arc or beta read and future books.
How do you feel about authors that just stops writing books in a series? Do you think it’s okay if they’re not making enough money? Do you find it disappointing? Let’s talk in the comments!