Thursday, March 26, 2015

Discussion Question: Why, Authors, Why?

I recently was reading the second book of a series.  Loved it, thought it was great, excited about the next book and how it's all going to end.  I go to Goodreads to see when the next book is coming out and there may not be a next book.  The author only got a two-book deal from the publisher.  Um…what?  Now I know I don't know how the publishing world works, but it seems to me that if you get a two-book deal, you figure out how to tell your story in two books.  Maybe make each book longer (they're both barely over 300 pages).  

And this is not the only time this has happened.  Why, authors, why?  Why do you do this to your readers?  I don't think it's right.  I think they have an obligation.  Now maybe they're really hopeful and they think that second or third book will happen. But in my opinion, if they don't know, they have an obligation to their readers to write a complete story.  And if that means it's only one book, it's only one book.  And if they get a two-book deal, they write two books that tell a complete story.  They don't write two books like it's a trilogy if they don't know if that third book will ever happen.  That's just not right.  

What do you think? Am I just mad for no reason???

Posted by:  Pam


  1. This has happened to me once or twice, and yeah, it kind of bugs me. I feel like if you can't get the publishers backing for three books, either don't make a trilogy, or self publish the last book. It's only fair.

  2. So the first case of this I came across was with the Archived and the Unbound and I admit I haven't read Unbound because I didn't want to get more invested in a story that should continue but wasn't going to. But Schwab did write these books so they could stand by themselves if they had to which I appreciated. AND Schwab did say she was now going to publish a 3rd book (some way or another) and so I guess I will read the Unbound. I am pretty sure I know which book/series spurred this post and that DEFINITELY SHOULD have a third book and I already read the second book without knowing there might not be a third and basically I am going to be PISSED if there isn't. I think it is especially unfair to write a trilogy when you only have a guaranteed 2-book deal.

  3. You are definitely justified. I have stopped reading series until the whole thing comes out anyway. Thanks to you all reviewing, I know when this happens and which ones are worth the time. I definitely have no interest in reading part of a story which is essentially what the author has published. It is the equivalent of publishing a book without the last few chapters that wrap everything up - how do they even get it published? I blame the publisher as well. Just because you have a two-book deal, doesn't mean the publisher doesn't then have the right to say that they are not going to publish two parts of a trilogy. Either they love it and should option the third book or they are not committed so they should force the author into two books.

  4. I definitely agree with you, girl! Especially since you can't end Fire & Flood on the second book... the whole reveal takes place during book 3! I will be very frustrated if I will never know how this story ends. I hate that the author did this. :/

    A good example of an author *hoping* for another book but makes it so that it's not necessary is Melissa Landers' Alienated... there's room for a sequel, but it's not necessary.

  5. Hahha, okay so I started to talk about this in your review...

    ...but here's the deal, I think. There are A LOT of books that are started with a two book deal and there's enough interest that the publisher will then engage in another 2 book deal so that the author will write the 3rd book and the other book could be a standalone.

    There are also book deals where they sell the entire series. TO do this, you need absolutely detailed outlines and synopses of each book and they are a lot harder to sell that way vs. a general 2 deal book. And that's because publishers can cut their losses and choose not to publish that third book... whereas committing to the entire series means just that. No cutting out.

    If an author loves the story idea enough, I don't think that it's bad for her to plot out the series as a trilogy. If you are talking about Salt and Stone, I do think that she was hopeful for a 3rd book. She got a six figure deal. That means a lot of marketing. But, if it didn't sell well, then there's more pressure for the sales to do better.

    No author will ever know how well that first book will do. You can be hopeful that it does well. But let's say that the first book didn't do well and she knows that she only has 1 book left in her contract. Would you really want her to try and fit 2 books worth of plot into 1 book? I don't know very many authors who can pull that off skillfully. Whereas having 1 more book and 1 that's still unpublished sounds more appealing to me - if there's no "ending" for the story, you can imagine it. And if the author gets more popular in the future, maybe someone will buy the third book for that series. But the author will never be able to change a book that's already been published (i.e. if she tries to fit 2 books worth of plot into 1 book).

    I would blame the publisher more than the author. It's as I said in your book review. They chose to cut their losses on the author; they should deal with the fall out of that action. But because it's an entire publisher, it's a lot harder to blame them, because they're faceless compared to the author.