Wednesday, February 01, 2012

sneaky sequels

So I've noticed a trend in publishing. A book gets a lot of buzz, via blogs.  GREAT!  WOOT!  HAPPY DANCE.

Everyone rants and raves about the awesomeness of the book: YAY!

I buy the book:  HAPPY DANCE FOR ME!

I read the book:  I love it, the characters are compelling, the world is vivid, the plot starts off really interesting... but then in the back third of the book I notice something.  There's not enough pages to fill all the plot holes.

Then I have a moment of hmm.  A nugget of doubt. Could this be the first book in a series?

No.  No, my blogger friends would have given me a heads up.

As I read through to the last twenty pages I think, "yep.  There has to be more."

Last page: SONOFABITCH There's another book.

This fills me with mixed emotions.

One half of me is HAPPY!  SUPER WOOT!  There's another book. I get to spend more time with the characters, fall in love with their world all over again. YAY.

Then the other half feels sort of let down. Is this the publisher's idea of getting more money out of me?  I don't want to wait a WHOLE YEAR before reading the next book. I want it NOW!   What if the second book isn't as good as the first one?


Now logically I know it's the author's fault.  I know it's the publisher.  But I would like SOME sort of warning ahead of time before I finish the book that there's going to be a sequel.

I READ a book differently if I know up front if its going to be a stand alone story or the first in a series.  I have a different set of expectations.

I like to know the author planned it all out, a little odd sentence in book one leads to a HUGE reveal in book three. Awesome.  And I'm a little bit more forgiving if the ending isn't what I expected because I'm hoping for a BIG payoff in the end.   

But as a reader I feel like sneaky sequels are a low blow.   I want the publisher to feel just as excited about the book and NOT HIDE the fact that the book is the first in a trilogy.  And YES I know it's a risky venture to put out a series, and the first book is sort of a test to see how the market is going to respond and I'm sure someone did market research and learned when you put Book One on the cover of a book that it makes the readers a little bit more hesitant to buy it.

Logically I KNOW all this.

But the reader in me gets all pouty.  And it's happened to me A LOT recently.

Anyone else feel like this?

Let me know your thoughts below.


  1. I HATE the sneaky sequel! Just last week, I was closing in on the end of The Quantum Thief and realized that La Flameur hadn't even begun working on the heist they'd busted him out of prison for. If there are going to be sequels, tell me on the cover.

    Still, the sneaky sequel isn't as bad as the ever-expanding series. "I know this was supposed to be a trilogy but I'm making far too much money to wrap it up. We're going to do five now. Possibly seven."


  3. Haha, your photos are hilarious. I don't like sneaky sequels either. I think authors should still wrap things up at the end of the first book. Then hint at what's to come without some huge cliffhanger. It sucks to have to wait a whole year or more to find out how things get resolved.