If you follow me on Twitter, you know that last night, I read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, and immediately bemoaned the idea of waiting another year for the next book in the series. I mean, there’s ending a story and being curious to know what happens next to these characters we’ve grown to care for, and then there’s leaving things with a big ole cliffhanger, and driving your fans nutso.
Anyway, it made me think of other books where I’ve decided to wait until a series was complete before starting to read it, purely so I didn’t have to deal with that agonizing waiting period. Everyone keeps telling me to read George R. R. Martin, for instance, but if the books are as good as everyone says they are, I want to wait until I can read them all, one after the other — though I imagine I’m going to have to devote a whole month to the effort.
It also reminded me of why I say your manuscript — even if you envision your book as the start of a series — really needs to stand on its own. You don’t want to piss off a reader by getting them to the end of a book and then pulling the rug out from under them, saying, “Sorry, buy the next book for the conclusion!” Nobody likes an angry mob with pitchforks, and if you don’t think readers get mad when you mess with their favorite characters, you haven’t been paying attention lately!
What book series have you decided to hold off on, in order to know they came to an end, and which books do you wish you waited to read, so you didn’t have to deal with a cliffhanger?