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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Series Vs. Stand Alone

I find that more and more authors are creating series of books versus the stand alone book. But what do the readers like? Each has their pros and cons for the readers.

Pro's Series

-more connection to characters
-longer story line
-cult-like feel

Con's Series
-the story line may drag out over multiple books versus finishing in one
-many series end up following the same arc
-may loose readers during the wait period between books

Pro's Stand Alone
-you get the full story
-more originality to the plot
-twists and turns are less expected

Con's Stand Alone
-readers may want more
-characters tend to be under developed

So what do the readers actually prefer?

BKGURL on goodreads says...
I love series books...but not when it's a series about the same characters. Then I'd rather just read one long stand alone book with a HEA and epilogue. 

It seems the norm nowadays is a shorter book with a cliffhanger with 2 or 3 books about the same hero & heroine. It wasn't bad until every author seems to be doing it. The list of books I have that I'm waiting for a sequel to resolve a cliffhanger is becoming ridiculously long. And then it's even more frustrating when some authors/publishers don't release the next book for 6-12 months (or more).

When a series is about a family or group of friends with a different hero & heroine in each book with some catch up on previous leads, I'm all over that! 

It's funny that she says this because I disagree about the same characters thing. I hate series where each book follows a different person. I am more character oriented so I get attached to one couple and don't want to move on to the next yet! I love books with the same hero/heroine. 

LILYAN says....
Ahhh tough question. On one hand, with stand alones, you get instant closure and gratification. However, you can never really get to know the characters and feel this bond with a book with a stand alone that you can get with a series. Which is what I looove about series books, they get you so engaged with the characters that you start thinking you actually know them, which come to think about it, sucks after you finish the series and realize, your relationship with those fictional beings is over and you have to go back to real life :(. Sooo, stand alones when I dont want to get attached, and series when I want to escape life.

I agree mostly with what she says! I think she hits the nail on the head with this explanation. 

So which do you guys prefer?


  1. I think my favorites are those that switch between characters, but the characters are related enough that you don't lose the ones from the previous books. You can "keep in touch" with your old favorites, but also get to know new favorites, and that the old HEAs won't be summarily negated for the sake of coming up with a new plot. I hate it when couples break up in the beginning (or worse, pre-beginning) of the sequel, for example, just so the second book can have the "falling-in-love" romantic tension all over again.

    1. I completely agree with falling in love all over again thing. It's so annoying. I'd rather just end it. There are some like, Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens where it follows one couple through three books. I think that's the only one where I didn't feel like dragging.

  2. I think that a series only works if there is a genuine story to be told each time. Too many writers (particularly indies) only write a series because they think that it follows some magic formula to success. I can understand how it is suited to fantasy (if you have created an entire world, there is a lot of mileage to be got out of it), but I find that cop/spy thrillers just become too cliched very quickly. John Grisham could so easily have created one lawyer and lived off of a series, but I think that his vast catalogue of standalones is so much better and more rewarding to the reader.

    1. I completely agree. I think fantasy is typically the only genre with primarily series that actually work. Indies lately especially in the new adult category think that series means more people will read. Some work but for the most part, I lose interest.

  3. Most of the books I pick up to read are ones in a series. I usually prefer series because I like to see how the characters develop as the storyline progresses. With standalone books, I feel that the story is sometimes rushed and I don't get to know the characters as well. However, when standalone books are done well, I love them. Its nice to be able to finish a book and know how it ends instead of having to wait for the next one to come out. When I am waiting for the next book in a series to come out, I am obviously reading other books. Once the next book in the series comes out, I have somewhat forgotten the storyline of the previous book and have to reread it so I can be more excited about the next book.

    1. I hate that about series! I'm reading a nine book long series right now and the ninth just came out this week but I couldn't read it because I hardly remember where it left off. Now I'm starting back at book one. The series is awesome but still!

    2. Wow, that is a really long series! It just gets annoying to reread a series for the most recent book when there are so many other books I want to read. Not enough time in a day!

    3. Especially when re-reading! I end up skimming and it's not all that enjoyable :(


Tell me what you think!