Friday, 22 July 2016

Book serials - yay or nay?

Why I really really hate book serials.

So you see a link to a free book on facebook, the cover grabs you, the blurb interests you, so you click the link and read a bit more. Yep definitely something you're interesed in so you one click and download the book. It’s free, you cant go wrong, right?

You open the book and start reading, it's got you hooked from the beginning. Action packed story line, intriguing characters..... And hour and a half later the protagonist has been kidnapped by her ex and the hunky new billionaire boyfriend declares he’ll pull out all stopts to find her and get her back. Then it ends.... What the? Hang on, this isn't a story, it's the beginning of a story. You check to make sure you didnt just download a sample. But no, thats it, in its entirety. Okay, no worries. You figure the author has released a novella as an introduction so you want to go back and buy the full length novel. Cool, that's what you do. You follow the links and one click the next book. Okay at $3.99 it's a bit more than you usually prefer to pay, but it's a good story and you have to know what happens.

So you open the next book, settle down with a coffee and a couple of tim tams and off you go again. An hour and half later you reach the end of the book. Again! What the hell? The story is nowhere near finished. Its just getting interesting again. Frustrated this time you click the links again and look at the next book. Another $3.99, then you notice there's another 4 books in the series and you start doing the maths in your head 5×4 = ? Wait, that's amost $20-, for one novel.. You can buy a hardback from a famous author for that much.

Now you have 2 options. Move on and try to forget the series that you now have no answers to, or pay a small fortune for an indie e-book. I’ll be honest with you, I've done both. But I'll also tell you this, that it's few and far between that I will go back and buy the rest of the series (actually I've only done it once and it was done begrudgingly.) Generally I just go, nope. And that's why I really hate serials, I end up feeling cheated and ripped off. I feel like the author is trying to take advantage of me as a reader.

So if you ever notice me posting that I'll be releasing a book serial, please feel free to hit me about the head and remind me of why I detest such techniques, it feels like a ploy just to get more money out of me.

And just for the record. I do have a greater tolerance if each book in the serial is only 99c, but generally even then, it is usually only the second book that’s 99c. Further books usually go up again.
I do feel the need to point out, I have no issues with a book series. If it takes me four or five hours to read a book, then $2.99 or $3.99 is a reasonable price to pay. Although I have to say, I hate cliffhangers, especially if the next book in the series won't be out for another six or twelve months. But thats another post, to be shared another time.

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