Standalone or Part of a Series?
Ok, all of you know, it’s usually something I’m reading or just read that sets off a topic for my Sunday blog, and that’s the case again today. Actually I’m surprised this hasn’t come up before now because I feel pretty strongly about it. And that’s whether a book is labeled a standalone story or is part of a series. And should a reader know that in advance of picking up a book to read.
My answer is yes, let the reader know.
Give your reader as much information about your story to make an informed guess as to whether to go and read the previous stories or to jump into the middle or, as I just did without any inkling, end up at the end of a trilogy that killed off a main character. Was I happy? Uh no. This while giving happy endings to characters I had no idea who they were but apparently had stories that preceded this one.
How did I find that out? Because while the title and blurb gave no indication that this novel was part of a series and the finale, when I went looking for (hopefully) stories or notes that would indicate that the author would have new books coming to resolve this ending (there were ways given the nature of this book), instead I found reviews for the others in the series. I was flummoxed. Looking over each title, none indicated it was a part of a series/trilogy. Yet the two characters in books one and two only get their resolution in the third novel. One actually dies in his story. So uh, without reading them, what is their ending like? Got to be cliffhangers.
How do you feel about picking up stories you think are standalone only to find that they are part of a series?
Sometimes it hasn’t mattered. I have come in many times in the middle of contemporary series that feature multiple couples throughout the stories and pictured up the other books with no problem. It depends I think on the narrative and overall arc. I’m trying to think if I have done the same with a fantasy or paranormal series, and the answer is probably given the sheer amount of books I’ve read. But again, I’ve already noted in my review that said novel or story, unlike whatever the blurb has said, isn’t a standalone, that its a part of a group of tales to be read in the order they were written.
I just did that with a Josh Lanyon book (The Art of Murders series) and a Ana Newfolk book from her Made In series. The foundation and universe is the series each author has painstakingly created for their stories. Especially in Josh Lanyon’s case where The Art of Murders is a brilliant labyrinth of twisted psychology, deep emotions, and murder mysteries. Separating one out of the mix? Can’t and shouldn’t be done. In fact, the number of series where you shouldn’t come into the middle far out number the ones where it probably wouldn’t matter so much. That’s like falling into the middle of Abigail Roux’s fabulous Cut & Run series with Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. You could do it but why would you? Or Amy Lane’s Fish Out of Water Series or or or…
So why do it at all? Why say standalone if they really aren’t?
Hmmmm. Well, probably to sell stories for one.
People are less likely to commit to a series than they are to one story. Well not me. I love series. But others, probably. Ok poll time let’s find out.
I can’t wait to see how this turns out. How do people really feel about reading one book. One or three or more? For me it’s the more the merrier honestly.
Unless I come in on the end and they have killed off a major character with no hope of revival. Sigh.
But I can see publishers or authors wanting to put their stories out there and making them as accessible to readers as possible, even if (in my opinion)that’s labeling them as a standalone when they aren’t (again my opinion) or lumping them under a bazillion of genre tags. Ok, how many times lately have you seen a story labeled as a sci fy fantasy paranormal supernatural romance? It’s a cat and bunny romance, you are already there.
Well that’s a topic for another Sunday.
Anyhoo, back to my topic. How do you feel about standalones and series? Write in and let me know. There’s a $10 Amazon gift card waiting for a lucky reader chosen among the replies. And please take our poll, I’m dying to see our answers!
Oh and as to the book that set this all off? I’m reviewing it later this month. See if you all can guess which one it is. lol
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And now onto our week ahead.
This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
Sunday, July 14:
- Standalone or Part of a Series? This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
- SALE BLITZ – RYKER – RJ SCOTT & V.L. LOCEY
Monday, July 15:
- REVIEW TOUR Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3) – MJ O’Shea
- SERIES REVIEW TOUR – The Series of Fates by C.C. Dado
- Release Blitz – Alison Temple – Cold Pressed
- An Alisa Review :Denying Fate (A Series of Fates #1) by C.C. Dado
- A Lucy Review: Invisible by Iyana Jenna
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Chef On Top (Sizzling In The Kitchen #3) by MJ O’Shea
Tuesday, July 16:
- Review Tour Request – C.F. White – Love & Tea Bags
- Tour for “Serpent’s Teardrop” by Mary Rundle
- Blog Post – Victoria Milne – Purple Method
- Book Blitz – WS Long – Revving It Up Box Set
- A Stella Review: Love & Tea Bags (Pink Rock Series #1) by C.F. White
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Warm Heart (Search and Rescue #1) by Amy Lane
Wednesday, July 17:
- Cover Reveal, – Joanna Chambers – Gentleman Wolf
- AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR – Lucky Town by Morgan Brice
- PROMO M.D. Grimm
- A MelanieM Audio Review: Lucky Town (Badlands #1.5) by Morgan Brice and Kale Williams (narrator)
- A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review: Terms of Service (The Heretic Doms Club #2) by Marie Sexton and John Solo
Thursday, July 18:
- R GREY PROMO ON Oasis
- Release Blitz Signal – Sam Burns & W.M Fawkes – Patron Of Mercy
- Release blitz Beautiful Trauma by Aimee Nicole Walker
- BLOG TOUR Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
- An Alisa Review: Treasure Trail by Morgan Brice
- A Caryn Review: Dancing with the Lion: Becoming (Dancing with the Lion #1) by Jeanne Reames
Friday, July 19:
- Release Blitz – What Lies Beneath – RJ Scott
- Release Blitz – Hanna Dare – Black Sky Morning
- Release Blitz – Eli Easton – How To Run With The Wolves
- An Alisa Release Day Review: Kneading You by CS Poe
- A MelanieM Review: Séance on a Summer’s Night by Josh Lanyon
Saturday, July 20:
- A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Craving’s Creek by Mel Bossa
- A Lucy Review: 9 Willow Street by Nell Iris