The Publisher Killed My Friends!
I really hate it when I’ve finally found something I like – be it a brand of jeans, a flavor of ice cream, a styling product, or a special pen – and it gets discontinued. I get particularly upset over two things: tv shows and book series.
I’ve often dreamed about having my own television station where I could produce and air those TV shows that were cancelled too soon (cough…Firefly!) It seems there are lots of them, and every year more good shows are cancelled and we’re left with “Hell’s Bachelor Survivor” or whatever the reality show du jour might be. Anyone remember Strange Luck? Cupid?
Pretender? ALMOST HUMAN?? I’m still hot over losing that one.
But it happens to books, too. I’ll find a series I really like, I invest in the characters, make them my friends, … and BAM! The publisher kills them. Right in the middle of the series, too! So not only can I not see my friends anymore, there isn’t even a sense of closure.
Case in point: The Phoenix Chronicles by Lori Handeland. Four books and a couple of shorts into the series, and it gets cancelled. The fifth book was listed on Goodreads as Demons at the Gate. DEMONS AT THE GATE, people! You can’t just leave us hanging for eternity with demons at the gate! All that build-up and sense of anticipation! It’s like… well, I’ll leave that simile to the romance writers. But, really.
Here are some other series that Nell and I wish hadn’t been killed by the publisher:
- Gavyn Donatti series by Sonya Bateman
- Anya Kalinczyk series by Laura Bickle
- Laura Blackstone series by Mark del Franco
- Mindspace Investigations by Alex Hughes
I do understand that not ALL unfinished series are the fault of the publisher, such as the Alex Craft series by Kalayna Price. Sometimes, crappy things happen in an author’s life, or the author gets tired of writing, or the author isn’t making enough money writing and has to get a mundane job. All of this can interfere with writing. But, I do admit that, lacking any other information, I tend to assume the publisher is at fault.
This makes me very grateful that small press publishing and self-publishing are now viable options for so many authors. Yes, traditional publishing may still have some benefits, but when publishers put our beloved characters under the guillotine, I’m glad small press and self-publishing can act as the “duct tape” to restore our friend’s heads, assuming the author is willing to “stick” with it (get it?)
I’m also grateful that, as I work on this blog and on a street team for an author I love, that I’m learning about all the ways a reader can help support their authors. Perhaps there needs to be more “reader education” in this area – letting readers know that, in order to read more by this author, things like reviewing books and liking reviews and sharing enthusiasm for a book helps keep a series viable.
If you have a series you love, write reviews, talk about the series, email the author and offer to help with promotion — anything that will keep that author writing. It’s important we don’t lose the good series. Your efforts can help save your friends.