I have just finished reading YET ANOTHER book without an ending. In order to find out what happens, I have to buy book 2 in the series – and I strongly suspect that will end in a “cliff-hanger” that will be the beginning of book 3. This is the fourth book I have read that really is just the beginning of the next book.

I think these used to be called chapters or even Part II. Now, it seems like more and more people are publishing “books” that are really more “introductions” or “prequels” or “serials”. As an author of a “prequel”, I would like to proclaim loudly that all of my books begin and end. I do not write a “cliff-hanger” ending so the reader is forced to buy the next book just to find out what happened.

In all honesty, of the four “books” (I’m using the term loosely) I read there wasn’t one of them that was good enough for me to care what happens next. I’ll just have to live with unanswered questions because getting to the last page and finding out there isn’t a real ending makes me throw up my hands in disgust and vow to never buy another book by that author. The author has lost my trust and wasted my time – that is not a relationship I want to continue.

There’s a difference between a “series” and “serial fiction” which I interpret to be a marketing ploy. I read series – I’ve even written one – but a marketing ploy to try to get me to buy the next book – not so charming.

The books in my series start and end. The next book might use some of the same characters, but there is a different plot and if you need to know something without reading the first book, I explain what you need to know – I’m not spoiling the plot if you read out of sequence and I’m not making it necessary for you to read all of them. They stand alone. I want you to trust me to take you on a journey and not leave you stranded in the middle of the desert, or ocean, or mountains.

I will post reviews for the “serial fiction” books on Amazon, but I’m not giving them page time on my blog. In the future, I hope other reviewers will post comments that reflect the truth of some of these books – there’s no ending; if you read book one the author leaves you hanging in the hopes of making you buy book two, etc.

What the authors of these works don’t consider is the reader. Someone reads your work in the hope of being taken someplace special and brought home safely feeling like they have been enriched by the time spent with your story. To drop the reader off at the side of the road and wave cheerily as you speed away toward a new destination doesn’t build trust, loyalty or a reader base.

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