I just finished a decent YA book called No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz.
I liked the book, the characters were interesting, but in my opinion this book is not a novel. There is no resolution. The story just cuts off. There is an intro to the sequel at the end of the book. It’s a serial.
Now, I don’t have a problem with serials. I like books. I know serials were popular in the Victorian era and that they’ve made a comeback with e-publishing. I’ve read some serial e-books and really enjoyed them, but I paid a ‘serial price’. I bought No Safety in Numbers from a bricks and mortar bookstore and paid the bricks and mortar price. Shouldn’t I get a whole novel for that price?
I’m not criticizing the author here. Unless they self-publish, authors have little to no say in the pricing of their work.
And I’m not trashing series (as opposed to serials). I love hanging out with the same characters from one story to another. But that’s the difference. With a series, I get a full novel and then another awesome full novel with the same characters doing different things.
I wouldn’t complain, except that this trend toward serials seems to be picking up steam. I know publishers are scrambling to make a profit in this changing industry, but as a consumer, I’d appreciate a heads up when I’m buying a serial. I did notice that Penguin put a picture of the cover of book two for No Safety in Numbers on the back of the book with the caveat, The Suspense Continues in the Sequel: So why not move this to the front of the book? Better yet, why not slap a big red SERIAL across the top right-hand corner? If publishers want to drive readers like me to the Big 6 publishers, a little honesty will go a long way.