Blogger Confession: Question about Serials

Posted April 10, 2014 by Felicia S in Blogger Confession / 22 Comments


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Blogger Confession: Question about Serials

I am going to admit something: I don’t think I have read a serial book before the one I am reading now. The following questions are totally because I HAVE NO FREAKING CLUE!

I am not interested in reading a serial book while it is being published. It just isn’t my thing. I don’t like cliffhangers. I don’t like to wait. I have a list though of ones that I want to read after they are all out and can be read like a full length book.

The first one up for me is Indexing by Seanan McGuire. I am currently starting part 4 (or chapter 4 not sure of the correct terminology):

So far here are my thoughts:

  1. The first part was excellent. Loved the world building, the intro of the characters, and the intro “story”
  2. The second part was 1/2 original (loved that part) and 1/2 reintroducing the characters and the world
  3. The third part was 1/2 original (loved that part) and 1/2 reintroducing the characters and the world.

As bad as I want to finish this book (I am listening to it on audio), I don’t think I am going to be able to wade through the MASSIVE amount of repetition. I already get slightly annoyed with this trait in full sized books that are additional entries in a series (a little catching up is one thing but when a good chunk of the book is explaining what happened previously in the series–I am out). It defiantly doesn’t work for me when it is in every “chapter” or “part” (that is a whole lot of repetitive information barely pages apart). I am not picking on Seanan, she just had the unfortunate distinction of being my first serial. So she is my only gauge.

So my question is:

  1. Does every serial do that? Repeat key world/character traits in every part that was released separately.
  2. What do you think about it?
  3. Would that turn you off from reading packaged serials?
  4. Have you read a packaged serial? Do the authors ever go back in and “clean up” the repetitive structure?

It may just be that serials will end up not being my thing (packaged or as they come out) but I wanted to check in to see if this was an overall trait.

Things to note (just because I think contemporary or erotica serials probably don’t have the world building involved but they would have the characters):

  • I am more likely to read a UF or PNR serial than a contemporary or erotica serial
  • I am more likely to pick it up in audio than paper just because lately that is how I am getting all my books in.
Felicia S
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22 responses to “Blogger Confession: Question about Serials

  1. Yes and no.

    A lot of them do recap what came before. You do get readers who pick up an installment without having read the previous ones. Plus, if the installments come out fairly spaced apart, you want to catch the reader up without making them read the previous story in its entirety.

    That said… I’m reading Meljean Brook’s The Kraken King and she wrote it as a book that was then serialized. So, no recapping between installments. (at least that I’ve noticed. I’ve only read the first 2, at this point.)

  2. I love Seanan McGuire, and I have this too, but haven’t read it yet, and know I don’t know if I want to. I’ve only read one other serial so far, and that was Ilona Andrews’ Clean Sweep which definitely did NOT repeat itself, so I don’t know. I’m sorry Indexing isn’t working out . . .

    • Actually I love the original parts of the story. I think it is probably more obvious to me because I am listening to it on audio. If I was reading it I could skim the repeats πŸ™‚

  3. I haven’t attempted a serial before as I was afraid it would work out like a day time soap with lots of flashbacks and recaps. I like big books better.

  4. Such a great discussion. I don’t like serials either. I much prefer stand alones. I think it’s a neat idea to wait till all the books come out to read all at once. However, if the 1st one doesn’t do it for me, I usually won’t continue. Even sometimes if I do like a book, I like to read different things and I don’t get back to the series or trilogy. I don’t like a lot of repetition. I think it’s difficult for an author to “recap” however or risk having the reader not know what is going on.Β  Anyway, good luck with your plan!

  5. I loved this, but did in fact read it as a serial. I paid 1.99 and every other Tuesday I got a new episode. Not all serials are the same..and honestly I do not remember any repetition at all, each episode left off where the previous installment ended.

    This is the only type of serial I will read. The ones that you pay a one time fee with and get episodes downloaded automatically every other week for 8-12 weeks.

    I refuse to partake in the one’s that charge .99 cents to 1.99 an episode that is basically a very short novella and you end up spending a fortune.

    • I think it is probably the listening to it all at once. It is just distracting. I do love the original part of the stories though. I just finished the step-sister one and think I only have two more to go. I really like the characters. Listening probably makes the repetition more obvious to, if reading I would have probably skimmed the parts and not noticed. I think the one getting on my nerves the most is the repeating of the things like Henry’s coloring and the building of their agency being non-descript.

      I do agree that if I were to buy a serial it would have to be a one time fee (great discussion there too). The ones that are charge by episode would not make my list.

  6. I hate cliffies, so I think it is safe to assume it’s a no for me on serials. I would try one packaged all together but not on their own. The only one I would try is the podcasts of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurances. I think those are just individual cases built around the series. I think I can handle that. They would be more like novellas.

  7. Becky @ Underworld Love Addiction

    I have to agree. I’m not a big fan of serials. I’m too impatient to wait to read the whole story. Kresley Cole’s Professional was good though. Other than that I would say I tend to avoid them.

    • I may read that one down the line as I have only heard good things about it. It was just 3 parts though right? That probably wouldn’t be bad.

  8. I have only read two completed books which were first released as serials, and it was just a continuing story, really no rehashing at all. So I think it is just this book.
    I am not a fan of serials either, I don’t want to torment myself with reading a book in pieces, I want to read the whole thing at once if it is a good book. So if there are readers out there who really want it? I have no idea why.

  9. I am not a fan of serials either. I’ve read only two or three but I felt like some of the ones I read did do a lot of summarizing (like a book in a series would) but for something so short it just felt too much. I think the cause for that is the author’s talent level, not the series novel specifically. I read “Wool” and it wasn’t like that. Now, I read all 5 parts when they were completed, but they just read like the next chapter, not like a new reminder before the series continued. I think that is how they need to be done. I also don’t like them because they feel like a scheme to sell more books. I think paying a buck (sometimes more!!!) for <100 pages is not right. You'll go through buying sections for 99 cents and then when the compiled copy is published, they sell it for 2.99 or 3.99? Um, can we say I got ripped off? It feels like a ploy to keep people interested and wanting to continue the story as it is being written, but I don't feel it works for me. A TV series is different, since that is what is expected. But I don't expect that sort of thing from a book. Ok enough rambling on.

    • THIS! I totally agree with the pricing thing. Writing is a business and I totally get that. However, this just seems like a way to get a few extra dollars out of what would otherwise be a book.

      I think this would have been fine if she would have done a little “tweaking” before releasing the bundled version. I understand some recapping as the titles released but in the bundled book it is too much.

      Feel free to ramble away πŸ™‚