Okay, I think the blog post title says it all.
I GET it. When KU first rolled out back in 2014, some of y’all immediately saw an opportunity to make a little extra change. Take a big book and break it down into smaller chunks so you got more money.
Unfortunately, that got out of hand faster than Trump entering the 2016 presidential race. (Yeah, I went there.)
So then all of a sudden there were countless writers verbally vomiting all of these little serial books into KU and then something really BAD happened.
They forgot that the POINT is to tell a STORY, not to squeeze as many book purchases from a reader as possible.
Have you put out a lot of “serial” books?
Yeah, well, DO THE FUCKING MATH.
There is a MAJOR difference between a STORY ARC left unresolved that plays out over several books and a relationship cliffhanger that leaves your hero and heroine’s HEA/HFN up in the air (or down on the rocks).
The prevailing theory, apparently, amongst the
dumbass greedy misinformed writers who should have their Internet access removed until they get their heads out of their asses go back to storytelling basics class is that it’ll get readers to buy the next book.
Uh, no. Most of the time, it’ll leave the reader feeling cheated and wanting to kick your ass and never read you again. And now with KU having switched it up to a page-read versus per-unit percentage payment system, longer books can make out better than shorter books.
Your job as a writer is to first tell a story that a reader wants to read. Again, HUGE difference between a story arc left unresolved and a RELATIONSHIP left unresolved just to try to sell more books.
The only time I’d say there MIGHT POSSIBLY be an exception to this is if you write like a 100K+ book and then “cliffhang” into the next one, which is also long.
If you’re writing these short little stories that barely ping the radar as novellas, then you are freaking GUILTY.
Stop it. Just fucking STOP IT and WRITE A BOOK. Don’t try to milk your damn readers, because I have to tell you, it’s pissing them off big time.
This rant was inspired by a good friend who’s an AVID reader who read an anthology, and one of the stories in it was exactly this, a short story with the HEA left in doubt and a message that said, “To read more about…”
Uh, no. It pissed her off.
And she’s just the latest of countless readers I’ve heard this exact same complaint from.
Maybe there are readers who like those kinds of serials. If there are, good on ya. However, for every reader who says they like those kinds of serials, I’d venture that there are probably at least five more who are shooting you a bird and adding you to their personal blacklist to never buy/read again because they refuse to get conned into paying more for the serials. They might wait until you put the whole thing out as one collected set, which again, means you should have just put the whole thing out at once instead of splitting it up.
Write the fucking BOOK. Release the fucking BOOK. Don’t make it your goal to milk the readers for every last penny.
I’m not against writers making money, obviously. It’s what I do for a living. But here’s the other thing–writers who are offering these little cheap-ass cliffhanger monstrosities are also whining, “Well, it’s hard to get people to pay more for a whole book.”
Uh, DUH, because of SHIT LIKE THIS. You know what? If you sell a COMPLETE BOOK that they know isn’t a cliffhanger, and don’t PISS THEM OFF, and GIVE THEM A COMPELLING READ, they’re more likely to pay a fair price for your COMPLETE BOOK instead of trying to scam them (because, believe me, readers are NOT stupid).
So fucking STOP IT.
(This rant brought to you by less than two cups of coffee…)
(PS: Readers, please feel free to chime in and add your comment to this.)
Liability (Suncoast Society 33, MMF, BDSM)
The Great Turning (Book 1)
Tony’s Collection (Suncoast Society box set)
Drunk Monkeys series (Books 1 – 10 now available!)