I ask this question as a reader. Lately I’ve become disappointed in the latest installments of a few series I follow. Both are small-town contemporaries, and I decided that unless the premises for the next books knock my senses out of the park I will likely pass for something else. I won’t mention names, but if you follow the Goodreads account under my real name you’ll pick up on it. In short:
- Series A featured a WTF subplot in the fifth book that carried over into the sixth without resolution. Also, the sixth book’s storyline seemed to “repeat” a previous book.
- Series B, while not a bad book, was stuffed with one-note supporting players that turned a promising storyline into a bad sitcom.
Since I read both books in a two-week span, I admit I had a meh reading period. I follow quite a few series, but lately I don’t get excited about them anymore. There are a number of reasons why I might quit:
- I have to wait too long. Yes, I don’t expect authors to crank out stories 24/7. I’m guilty of books between long gaps myself, and I don’t like to disappoint people. However, with some series it’s important to remember the previous book, and lately my mind is fuzzy about details. I’ve had Cress on my TBR for a while, but I don’t recall Cinder or Scarlet well. Are those even the names of the other two books?
- Same old, same old. When the stories in sequential books resemble one another to the point that you can’t tell them apart, I’m gone. This usually happens with mystery series for me.
As an author, I do admit there are factors that determine whether or not I should continue a series. Sales drive the bus. If sales are poor on the first few stories, I risk spending time on a losing proposition when I could try something else. Contracts are another – if I have an issue with a publisher that holds certain rights, I might wait a while before I feel comfortable writing more. Also, there’s inspiration. I might have grand ideas for a series, only to discover the inspiration just isn’t there.
As an author, I have a series in limbo and must wait for some resolution before I can go forward. This is why I have decided not commit and announce series unless I know for certain I can deliver.
When do you decide to quit a series?