If you read the reviews on Amazon and elsewhere for Sabrina’s Clan, which came out last Thursday, there is a lot of weeping and rending of garments because it is the last book in the series.
I’ve also had some “interesting” email direct from readers
demanding requesting I write more books in the series.
This is the third series I’ve ended in the last twelve months:
With each series end, I have received a shwack of complaints, requests, and cries for more.
Which is flattering and very nice — and thank you if you’re one of the people who contacted me about the end of a series lately.
I assure you, I do listen to anything any readers says about what they would like to read in the future, including more stories in technically finished series.
There’s a number of reasons why I end series:
The story arc for the series is finished.
This is the primary reason why a series will end. If the “big” story that spreads across all the books is done, then stretching the story out and padding it with more stuff will weaken the story.
However, that doesn’t mean that back stories, side stories and secondary characters’ stories can’t be told at some later date.
I’m sick of writing that series.
This doesn’t happen too often, but occasionally I’ve reached a point where I really can’t face the idea of writing any more of that series or those characters.
I start out loving all my characters equally (or I wouldn’t write about them). Some of those characters tear up the page, are so full of energy and are so interesting, that I could continue to write about them for many stories to come (and have, quite frequently — Veris and Brody, anyone?).
But sometimes my interest in a character just doesn’t hold beyond one or two books and pushing on with stories featuring those characters would make for poor stories.
Having said all that, it’s always possible to redeem a character — more backstory, more complications, more plans. A better bad guy, a new love interest. So even if I am as sick of a character as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became of Sherlock Holmes, I would never throw my characters over a cliff as he did just to rid myself of them.
If readers are not clamoring for more, then I won’t revive the series once it is over.
If the demand for more of a particular series or character was acute, I would take the time to scale up their personalities and find something about them to restore my interest.
No one else loves the series as I do.
It happens to every author. There are stories they write that, despite being as well-crafted as any of their other work, just don’t seem to click with the readers. The Kine Prophecies, and the one book that has been written in that series, The Branded Rose Prophecy, was a pure indulgence book for me. The story had been rattling around in my brain for years. I knew it was going to be a very, very big book (over 1,000 pages), and it would take a huge chunk of time to write, time that I could have used to write three or four or more other books instead.
But I needed to get it out of my system. I’m very proud of that book. It’s a great story.
It sells maybe a copy every month.
As much as I would really like to write more in the series, they would all be chunky door-stoppers like the first book and would take up serious amounts of time and energy to write. I can’t justify writing more in the series right now, unless the first book suddenly takes off. Alas, the price tends to scare most people off, long before they see how many pages are in the thing. It’s one of the unfortunate facts of ebooks. If you were to pick up the ten pound print edition with the three inch spine and saw the price, you wouldn’t instantly reject it on price alone. As an ebook, there’s nothing to make it look any different from teeny 90 page stories.
Ending a series means I can start another one.
This is the other big reason why some series need to be shut down when their time is due. I currently have nine series running. Even at the rate I write, if I cycle through them one at a time (which is the fairest way to do it — everyone wants the next book in their favourite series, afterall), then it can take nearly a year to get to the next book in any one series. At least, this year, it is.
If I start even more series, then it would stretch even longer between installments.
If I shut some series down, on the other hand, then I can start new series up.
For all these reasons, I have ended three series lately.
As far as The Stonebrood Saga is concerned, I have been writing that since 2010. It was time to wrap it up. Although, given the pleas and cries, I may circle back in the next year or so and add a short or a novella…or two. No promises, just yet. The next couple of years are shake-down time, while I get new series established.
This applies to the other series, too.
I will always listen to what you have to say about what you want to read. All you have to do is tell me!
P.S: Sabrina’s Clan was released last Thursday, and already has over 50 four and five star reviews! If you would like personalized emails letting you know when books are released, sign up for my newsletter. At the moment, you can get four books, totally free, when you sign up. Plus you hear about new releases before anyone else, including here on the blog.