Reading novels as they’re released in a series is both a great delight and a great frustration.
Delight, because it’s always exciting to return to familiar characters and continue following their story, and frustrating, because once the latest release is read, there’s inevitably a long wait for the next.
We spec fic fans are more familiar than most readers with the cycle of wait, devour, wait…
It’s not so bad if the novels are reasonably self-contained, but those that end on cliffhangers are particularly frustrating (in a good way).
I’ve got at least seven series I’m actively following, and only one has all books published (which is a great comfort, knowing they are just there, waiting for me to find the time to get to them).
Once I’ve started on a series, I have to keep going. I don’t want to wait until they’re all out and then read them back-to-back in the space of days or weeks. (The books above are those of Brent Weeks, which were all released within a few months of each other last year.)
I’m guessing most readers are the same.
It makes me wonder how writers feel about slaving over a novel for 12 months or more, only to have readers consume it in days, or less – avid fans often read a long-awaited book in a single sitting. (Actually, I already know the answer to this: they don’t care as long as their books are being read and enjoyed!)
So, I’m curious to find out how many readers are prepared to commit to a new fiction series early in its life, knowing there are frustrating waits ahead.
Do you hear about a series you think you might like and dive straight in?
Or do you hold off until a few books are in print, or even the whole series?
Have you ever lost interest in a series because the wait was too long or you got distracted with too many other books?
(This is the first time I’ve posed questions on this blog, so please feel free to leave a comment!)