A lot of readers say they never start a book series until the final book is written, but the only times I’ve done that have been by accident, when I discovered a series later that other people did.
There are plenty of series, such as those by J.D. Robb and Robyn Carr, that you’d never experience if you waited until the end.
However, then there are those series that were meant to be a certain length from the outset, and the author struggles to deliver.
Books take a lot of work, much more than most people give authors credit for. However, I think there’s a point you reach where it’s reasonable to be annoyed with an author when they drag their feet.
I am deeply in love with Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series, even though it’s not only not my usual sort of thing, but also has at least one subpar book to it. It was supposed to be a trilogy, but then Day dragged it out, and now it’s supposed to be concluded in five books.
Except – we still don’t have book five!
Day has had a busy year. She was here in Canberra for the convention in March, and then all over Australia on a book tour after that. As soon as she got back to America (I follow her Instagram) she was making appearances on television shows all over the country. Then there were more conferences and conventions to attend.
However, a brief glance at any reviews or discussion forums for this series reveal almost all her fans are frustrated, bordering on angry, or they’ve just given up entirely.
How long is it reasonable to expect your readers to wait for a promised book? Is it okay that the fifth book in this series was originally supposed to be released months ago, but as of October 2015 still doesn’t have a release date set? Worse, it was promised for 2015, and now even the release year has been revoked!
My guess is mid-2016 if we’re lucky, and by then a whole lot of fans will have jumped ship.
Of course Day isn’t the only author to put their readers through this, but this is the one I care about at the moment.
Fiction genres, and especially romance genres, are fickle and change fast. While I hate comparisons being made between Crossfire and Fifty Shades (because I love one and despise the other), they are from the same recent trend. It seems though that the trend is heading right on out of fashion.
The Fifty Shades movie was widely panned (and I can’t blame people with that awful cast!), and it seemed to spell the beginning of the end for the angsty-kinky-billionaire-romance fad. E.L. James’ attempt to rewrite her Fifty series from Christian’s perspective was not well-received.
People are looking for something new. This is going out of fashion as surely as teenage vampires did; just look at how well Stephenie Meyer’s attempt last week to revive her flagging Twilight franchise went.
If we don’t get the final Crossfire book soon, Day will have missed the boat.
I can’t tell authors what to do with their lives, but when you’ve crafted a hugely popular series, I promise you, readers would rather have the next book than see you doing yet another publicity tour!