Book Pet Peeves: Feeling Abandoned

Book Pet Peeves is a feature where I do a mini-rant about bookish things that annoy me. Feel free to join in!


Self-publishing is definitely shaping the bookish world and the publishing world. There are some good aspects to it but there are bad aspects as well. One of the coolest things for me is the author is in complete control of their books. They see what sells and what doesn’t. They can give their fans more as quickly as they’d like to. They don’t have to wait for a publisher to help them publish the next books.

The big downside to that is authors leaving series unfinished. I’m not going to ‘shame’ any self-published author but there was one that I enjoyed. I read several books by the author. I guess those books (YA) weren’t selling well so the author ‘abandoned’ those books. That was right around the time erotica was becoming hugely popular in the self-publishing world. The author attempted those books and I guess they were wildly successful because they now exclusively write those books.

I’m torn on this. I know it’s hard to be an author. I know you want to make money. I just feel pushed aside as a reader when an author chooses not to finish a series. I like closure. You’ve started these books, why don’t you finish them out? Since they are in charge, they could devote a few hours a week to finishing out the ‘forgotten’ series. I’m not saying they need to write books and books for a series that isn’t selling well but some kind of wrap up is needed. join-thefun

How do you feel about authors abandoning their stories?


17 thoughts on “Book Pet Peeves: Feeling Abandoned

  1. That would be annoying. I would’ve hoped that if the author decided to switch to writing erotica to make more money, he/she would finish one last book in the YA series to wrap things up. Or work on the last book in between all the erotica books.

    On the traditional publishing side, fans of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice must feel something similar. There was a 5-year gap between the publication of books 3 and 4 and then a 6-year gap between books 4 and 5. Now I’m hearing that fans are worried that he won’t finish the series before he dies!

  2. I’ve never really experienced this, but I also don’t read many self-published books. I feel a bit torn on the whole “giving up on a series” thing though. From a business standpoint, if it’s not working, it’s not working. It’s better to stop and not lose time/money trying to make something work that just isn’t. However, from a writer/reader standpoint… if I have sold something with the premise that there is 3 (or however many) parts, there will be 3 (or however many) parts. The beauty of self-publishing is that you are in control of everything, so there aren’t any deadlines. If you want to try something new, try it, but honor your commitments.

    • I get the business standpoint as well but I sometimes have to wonder what they qualify as working or not working. If it’s not selling millions of books, does that mean it’s not working? Oh well, thankfully there are many other books for me to read out there.

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced an abandoned series — authors usually seem to go the other way more often. They keep writing in the same world long after they’ve run out of interesting ideas for that world. (Ahem, Orson Scott Card.) Which is also annoying, in a different way!

  4. I didn’t know this was a thing!!! I would be so sad if I liked a book in a series but never got to see how it ends!! It’s hard enough to wait for these sequels to get published or written… I don’t want to think about NEVER. That stinks. I guess it’s the author’s prerogative, but that’s just no fun!

  5. I haven’t experienced this because I usually wait for a series to be completed before reading it. I am way too impatient to wait months or years between books! If the books in a series are written as a build-up that never comes, I agree, the author should follow through with something to tie things off. If each book’s plot is self-contained, dropping the series is easier to accept.

  6. Pingback: Monthly Round Up: November 2014 | The Cheap Reader

  7. I can’t think of any series I’ve started like this (usually it’s me doing the abandoning!) but I can tell it’d be really annoying! Then again, it would cost to get them published, and I guess they’d see it as a waste of time. You could be one of 10 people in the entire world worried about the fate of these characters, and I can see why the author would consider that a waste of time

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