It turned out that 20th of June has name day for both Lota and Carolina – guess my pseudonym’s birthday? 😀
Today is Summer Solstice, so happy Solstice, everyone! We’re celebrating it in few days together with national holiday of Midsummer’s Eve, so I’m currently just sitting around and having fun of nothingness. Came to realize that going in bed at 3 and waking at 9 is so much nicer to my brain than going to bed at 12 like proper person and getting up at 10 for a free day. Nooot enjoying it at all. As if my brain has taken a vacation too.
Which brought me back to my reading stuff. More like to a trend that seems to be popular in self-publishing ranks lately. “I’ll give you this first book of the series free, so…”
I have an issue with that first free book of the series. Seems nice to be able to munch on the first book, get interest up and pick up next one in the series, right? So I thought, because, if the series is good, I gladly munch through several of them before moving on and waiting for the next installment.
However, the new trend is not to give you the actual book, but instead, a part of the first book, isn’t it? You go on Amazon page, pick up what you read from description, is the first book and then fall into it, only to end up in a cliffhanger. My definition of a book is that there is start, middle and the end. Even if it is a book in series, there is a conclusion somewhere, something that takes a cut and serves as a reminder of a mix of satisfaction and curiosity. Not a cliffhanger of a “lady walks onward to a room”, “the dog was about to burp, when…”.
Reading a freebie that is more than few pages long, sold under name of a BOOK, I do expect that something to satisfy me with a conclusion of some sort. It does not push me to go buy the next installment in the series, when it really is another part of the same book! In reality, it pisses me off. It’s cheating and playing on my wallet. Why would I want to go and read the next part of the story, when,
a) I see you haven’t finished it yet, which pretty much in my book stands for chances that this story will never have an ending. Something that I have become very careful to check before laying my hands on any books now thanks to these Kindle offers.
b) If I count the money I put out for the next parts of the series, I might as well go and buy myself a really expensive encyclopedia of the world! It is not “I offer you this snack in shop in hope you’ll buy the product”, it is “I will rent you this house and ask you to pay both the rent for yourself and for the future people that will inhabit this space”. Bad example, but do you get my drift?
Strange is, I don’t care of that in mangas or comic books, but when it comes to books with actual text based reality, I don’t want to be tossed out of it without being put down gently. If I walk in paperback world, of course I check that I don’t have half of the story ripped out before I buy it. Why would I do it with ebook?
I’m not so much angry for the fact that such stories are out there. I have read serial books my entire life and I love them. If you would give it to me that it is the first part of the story, I would have no problem with it. I will still get it and read it. However, if you present it as a separate book in a series and give me a cliffhanger with no resolutions, I do mind. This trend is disturbing, for I do want the books to have endings before I buy them, and I don’t want to triple pay for something that would otherwise cost only the price of one.
For if there are six books with similar theme that cost me 2.50 and have all the parts, why should I go and buy a book that gives me free taste before charging me 2.50 per part for god knows how long before the story comes to an end? It’s like the LOTR and Hobbit, Twilight and Mocking Bird and all the other movie series, where people go around complaining, why can’t they put the book into one movie and why do you have to pay tickets for each time the new part comes out.
Same strategy, but wrong audience. Books are not movies that I would put up with watching the artwork, listening the music and enjoying details besides the stories I already know. Book is an individual that is created to fill expectation, especially in the world of genre fiction, fill an emotion that you need to live through with the help of a book. If you pick a book that does not fill your emotional need, sends you roller coasting back to Earth without warning to top it off, I rather go back ten-twenty years and pick up one of my old favorites instead of taking the risks again.
I like the strategy of having complete books. I like series, that offer me the first book, but that it is a book, not a short story without an ending. It’s not that you can’t sell a book you are still writing, go ahead! But I want a writer, who can prove to me, as a reader, that they are capable of finishing the product before selling it. Thus he or she has a book that already has an ending and offers me example of all their skills. So I know that if I pick up the next installment or suggest it to my friends that I can be sure they will be satisfied and I get what I want from it.
Otherwise it is sort of like Ikea furniture – it has the pits and parts, and a hammer to kill the cow you’re making your furniture from. And to offer it to all those aspiring writers out there, the pits and parts – guess how many of those story beginnings I’ve already taken as exercise on “how would I end this story?”