Author of the Southern Sanctuary Series / By The Numbers Series.
Am all about hot instant attraction, writing PNR/Mystery I think every story needs romance, humour and action.
All too frequently of late I've been reading a book and suddenly wham, cliffhanger, the end, please purchase the next book in the series to find out what happens.
I double check the page count. It's way too low. Am I missing more than half the book? Did I accidentally skip forward eighty or so pages?
No, I've been hit by the latest fad - serial novellas.
You know the moment, right? The pace has just picked up, you're just starting to feel like you know the Hero and Heroine, the bad guys have been fleshed out and you're really looking forward to understanding further everyone's motivations and watching the action unfold. Suddenly from left field there's a cliffhanger. The end.
I wouldn't mind so much but generally nowhere in the description does it say - short story. Even the page count is invariably misleading. I bought a book recently and there was over forty pages of book titles listed that 'I might like to read'.
Actually, I thought, I wasn't done reading the book I just bought...
And then there's the price. I've paid what I considered a reasonable price for what I am hoping is a full sized novel. Instead, I seemed to have purchased the first three chapters of a book that has obviously been cut up into little vinaigrettes.
I promptly go online and check out the rest of the books in this series, and do the math, whoa, is this author raking in the dough or what? Effectively the author is making upwards of 300% for their book just by chopping it up into small bite sized pieces.
Sure it's an effective money making tool - but as a reader I feel kind of cheated. I've stopped reading an author's work in the past when I've realised after purchasing one of their books that they are conducting business in such a manner.
But the money isn't the only factor in why I don't like serial novellas. There's the story-telling aspect of it. It takes a damn good author to effectively get me hooked, make me love the H & h, and get me invested in their well-being and the need to see them win out over the odds in under thirty pages. It's a rare author who can pull in all the elements with a word count under thirty thousand.
And then there's the cliffhanger aspect. The author wants you to buy the next in the series so just when the action is just getting good, the story invariably screeches to a stop.
So you promptly purchase book 2, which kind of picks up where the previous book ended, but to help readers who are joining the series fresh, the author has to provide information that a newbie would need, plus explain the characters. Annoying me, who just wants the cliff hanger resolved and wasting precious words in novella 2 of the series, instead of progressing the story.
I purchased a box set recently of five novellas. Not only saving myself a lot of money but also the frustration of facing unresolved cliffhangers.
All read together, the novellas very much felt like a normal book, reading experience wise. Which kind of made me think less of the author in the end - as money could have been the only reason they had chosen to release their story in novella form originally.
As you can tell from my above rant, I have just recently been burned by the serial novella once more.
Beyond frustrating, it was the only book I had on my kindle for a weekend away in the wilds (so no wi-fi to download any other books)
You can imagine how dismayed I was to find that I had run out of reading material more or less by the first morning.
Don't worry - I'm going online to leave a review to warn other readers that the book is barely forty pages long, with twenty-two pages of advertisements.
So be warned - beware the serial novella, sure some are great but often they are costly, thankfully brief, mistakes.