Releasing Books In Parts Is Shorting Your Fans

If you are like me and switched with the times (or just ran out of room in your house) from hardcover/paperback to E-books (Nook, Kindle, etc.), you may have noticed a relatively new trend — shorts.   At first, I sort of liked the idea.  In fact, my first introduction to “serials” was Stephen Kings’ “The Green Mile“.  I loved it!  But at that point there were no internet devices like iPads (or much of an internet for that matter) and I could sign up to have them mailed to me rather than having to go to the bookstore for the next installment (did I just date myself?  Oh well.)  As much as I loathe Mr. Kings recent short “Guns“, I have to admit the serial idea was genius — as well as him being one of the first to foray into on-line books.   Go ahead with your bad self Mr. King.

The point is, my issue is not with Stephen King or shorts.  It’s with the authors lately that have been putting their books out in parts for the Nook or the Kindle — if you’re an avid reader you know what I mean.  You buy the first book for 99 cents only to find the book doesn’t really have an ending — and guess what — you not only have to wait for however long it takes for them to release the next installment, but then they turn around and sell the whole book for $2.99.  When the actual followers paid closer to $8  based on their dribs and drabs.  To put it bluntly, as the reader, you don’t get an ending unless you pay up.  And pay up.  And so on.

So let me see if we get this:  We (your customers) buy your book.  We think it is good.  Then, we don’t find out until the “end” of the book that we can’t find out what happened to the characters you made us care about (which we appreciate, therefore we bought your work!) so we have to wait — until you are ready to release the next chapter.   Then in order to sell your next installment, you tell us about WHAT YOU ALREADY WROTE, BUT DIDN’T RELEASE.   Then, we have to pay again to find out the next chapter.  This is BS and your readers are noticing.  To use an old phrase:  please put up or shut up.  We love you but are onto you.    For this avid reader, it has been not only a wake-up call when it comes to books, but also a bit of a nightmare.

PS.  Examples of The Offenders

I didn’t want to mention the authors that should know better than to alienate their base by charging ridiculous fees for a short ass book (you can call it a novella all you want — it’s a short ass book).  But,  yeah I will.  I get that authors need to earn a solid income — AS THEY SHOULD.  But asking for $3 for a book that is so short most of us can read it in an hour is NOT okay.  It’s screwing the people that support you, which, well… just sucks.

Amy Cross  — Her shorts are actually very good.  But get used to waiting for a new “short” as opposed to the  whole book.  Like the story?  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.  Wait.. Wait.  Wait.  Wait. Wait. And wait some more.  Oh, she will come up with a new “novella” that has nothing to do with the “short” you just read — instead it’s a new short that will make you wait some more!  UGH.  Good writer, but clearly does not care about the people who like her work.  Personally, I am about to tell her to suck it.

Jeff Strand — This one really hurt me.  I loved all of his other books and he seemed like a down to earth guy.  But recently, paying full price on Kindle for books that are insanely short just makes me sad.  I know you know what I mean Mr. Strand.  Not to mention your new book that is listed on Amazon at $17.95 for a PAPERBACK.  Whuhhh?

Point is that we book buyers need to not only appreciate the authors, but kick them in the ass when they try to mug us — as they are trying to do with this short thing.  We are readers.  We are not stupid.  We know what you are trying to do and will not tolerate it.  Well, maybe that’s just me.