On a Yahoo group that I belong to, someone said she’d written a long book, over 150,000 words, and she wondered if she should split it. I was recently thinking of splitting a book in half or even making it into three books (though mine was much shorter). So I was very interested in the replies. They were all over the place. Some thought she should split it. Some said “Hell no!” One author said to put it out in a 10-book serial. One person said to split it into different books, and also put all the smaller books together and publish them in a bundle.
Almost everyone has a different experience, too. I’ve read a lot of YA and paranormal serials. For the most part, like Jennifer Estep’s Mythos Academy series (which is on sale for the month of April!), there is a big adventure and conflict in each book, and there is a win for the main heroine (sometimes just being alive is a win)–but there are also losses. And the big resolve doesn’t happen until the last book.
I’ve read every Mythos Academy book, and I never felt let down because the main conflict wasn’t resolved. I knew that eventually it would come. When it did, it was perfect, and I marveled at how Jennifer tied up all the many different elements. At the same time, I was sad that the series was over. (Luckily, she has a new YA series out, The Black Blade, and the first book of the series, Cold Burn of Magic, will be out later this month and is available for pre-order.)
In Dale Mayer’s YA Family Blood Ties series, she also resolves great problems in each book – but then she puts the characters in deeper trouble. So the books do have a cliffhanger ending. But because there was the resolve just before that, you’re still left happy with the book you just read, and you’re eager to read the next one. (And I’m also marveling at her imagination. I wish I had a crazy mind like that!)
Michelle Diener went a different way with The Golden Apple and The Silver Pear. The heroes in the different books are brothers, and the stories are connected. I can’t explain their connection in a short sentence or two, except to say that the books are brilliant and captivating – and once you start reading, you won’t want to stop.
I’ve read romances that were serials, and that doesn’t work well for me. No matter how good the book is, I’m just not interested in reading about a couple who can’t commit at the end of the book. If there are mystery or paranormal elements, I might decide differently. But if it’s just the hero and heroine’s life journey or indecision that keeps them apart, I feel that I’m being strung along.
If the hero and heroine are in another book with a new adventure, that’s a whole different thing. Then I would read the other books.
My book that I was considering splitting does have a mystery element, but I decided that it wasn’t a big enough mystery element to split it into two or three books.
What about you? What do you think about a book that’s mostly romance having a cliffhanger? Would you like it if it were split in two or three books or more? Or would you just prefer one?