series or sequels in 2012

09 January 2012

Looking through goodreads I have discovered that a fat lot of all the books being released are books belonging to a series or the sequel of a previous book published.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH STAND ALONES?!

My god, honestly. Why do authors continue their stories for sooo long?! Too little butter over too much bread. For instance, Delirium is a great stand-alone. Yeah, the ending was a bit abrupt and I imagine what happens after, but I do not want a sequel. 

Thus, here are some books I do not want to read:

Ohmygod, but they look so good! Let me explain:
Delirium: fudging awesome as a stand alone
The Body Finder: didn't really enjoy, so why would I read the others?
Fallen: Seriously, I got so tired after it and after the third, I didn't really care. It's like, the books only exist because of the pretty cover
Hex Hall: was good at first, nice light read, but got SO boring and typical after the second. 

Perhaps they're fine to get young girls interested in reading, but for an avid reader like me, I need an author who's willing to break the mold and come out with something thought provoking and deep. Because most of the books I read are so shallow, I wonder why I even read them!

How To Know A Good Stand Alone:
  1. A solid ending including epilogue
  2. You don't want to know what happens because the ending is perfect
  3. You feel complete understanding of the story
Yet, most authors purposefully stretch their story out with cliffhanger endings and make them longer than would be great. It's like authors are more eager to please the readers than they are about writing a brilliant novel to portray the story effectively. If you're an author reading this, I'm sure your novels are great, but please don't write just for the readers!

Why I believe there are so many sequels (I may be wrong) and series
  1. Authors signed contracts promising sequels
  2. Publishing companies are joining the bandwagon and want more books after the first huge hit book
  3. Authors just feed into popular demand from fans and readers and write more books for them
  4. Money?
Don't ruin a good story for these reasons. Be strong! Do what you believe in!
Case Studies:

J.K. Rowling
"I understand the temptation to revisit old triumphs. It feels dangerous to step away from ground where you know you've been successful. Imagine if you wrote something that wasn't quite as good! Or something that didn't capture the imagination in quite the same way. Well, what then? Creators all know that the most dangerous thing isn't to try and fail, it's to stagnate. Maybe not every new world or new set of stories you make will enjoy the huge success of Harry Potter – but a worse fate would be to keep on ploughing the same old furrow, not able to try anything new."

Enya
Though she isn't a novelist, Enya made sure to tell Warner Bros and put it in the contract to have as much time as she wanted to make her music, thus the huge intervals between albums. Unlike many artists who are forced to write songs quickly to achieve their contracts, to make more money, and toget more fans, Enya takes her own time creating lovely masterpieces. She's left alone in her private life, not indulging too much like many artists do. For those reading this, do you even know Enya? No! Do you know Katy Perry? Lady Gaga? Of course!
"When I go to the studio, I try not to think of the sales aspect, on how the albums have done previously, to actually just focus on the music"




What I'm trying to say is that I think everyone (authors, readers, publishers etc...) should make an effort to making books better, including knowing when to stop reading a book in a series, or deciding whether or not to read a sequel, trying to decide if you should or not. Follow your instincts as a good reader!

What books do you believe are great stand alones despite their series or sequels? Do you argue with my not-to-read book choices? What do you think? (answer answer answer! haha)

4 thoughts:

  1. I totally agree. I hate sequels for the sake of sequels (or money). I want a good story. Sometimes that means a trilogy or series... but usually only if it was planned that way in the beginning, and not because it was suggested by the publisher later.

    I remember reading about an author who didn't write sequels. It might've been Robin McKinley. I think that's a neat policy to have; it certainly makes her unique in the YA field (or, it did... it looks like some sequels are on the way). And let's not forget that the original fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, was never intended to be a trilogy at all! The publisher split it up into three... not the author.

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  2. Hallelujah, thank you for stating this. I love stand alones, I'm so done with series and try to stay away from them but authors/publishers do not make it easy do they, sigh. I have decided trilogies I will do but series I'm seriously considering cutting out which is to bad, I'll miss some good ones.

    Enya is amazing with her musical craft, love her ;-) I know who she is, lol. Funny I was like oh Enya, good memories, haven't heard of the author though, so had a laugh at that.

    GREAT POST

    I think its all about the money, sigh

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  3. Well said! But I have a question about your blog: How did you get the bar along the top of your page? The one with "Awards, Achive, About, home..." If you could just email me how that would be great! (I've been dying to add one of those to my page!)

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  4. Sorry, the email is lovebooks11@yahoo.com

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