Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tell Me Something Tuesday #28

It is that time of week again! You guessed it -Tell Me Something Tuesday; a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous author of the Heven and Hell series, Cambria Hebert. If you would like to participate, visit her blog and grab next week's question and add your link. This week's question:

At what point do you think a series has gone on too long? How long should a series be?

This is question that has been on my mind lately. Mostly because I am curious as to where the stand-alone books have gone. Over the last year I think I have read a total of three books that are not a part of a series, sequel, or trilogy and I'm kinda getting frustrated. I pick up a book and it doesn't have any indication that it is a part of something bigger, but alas on the last page I see: "Next book coming soon." Grrr! My problem is that once I start a series I see it through because I want to know what happens. It is very rare for me to stop a series, but I have if it is really bad.

So I did a little digging into past books that I have read over the years. The Babysitter's Club had approximately 132 books not counting spin-offs and specials. Only 35 of these books however, were written by the author Ann M. Martin. The rest were written by ghostwriters or just by another guy who finished the series. Fear Street by R.L. Stine had 52 books plus 32 extra/special editions that were written by him. Some of the latest ones are now being ghostwritten. If the author only wanted to write a certain number then that should have been the end of the series. But the name is being sold at this point, not the writing.

In my YA book collection Sweep by Cate Tiernan had 15 books in the series, but they are tiny books and could have been condensed more. House of Night by P.C. & Kristin Cast are scheduled for 15 books plus novellas, but more may be added due to the popularity of the series. The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine, one of my favorites, will have approximately 15 books. The Immortals series by Alyson Noel had 6 books. But others like the Fallen series by Lauren Kate only has 4 and The Hollow trilogy by Jessica Verday is being left at the 3. 

On my adult shelf, Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong has 13 adult books and 6 YA spin-offs. I think with this story line, the more books the better. There are so many possible protagonists that weren't utilized that I think should have been. And while I like the YA books, they aren't nearly as good as the adult books, in my opinion. 

I think it all depends on the content of the story. Could it be stretched to fit more books? But I think the more important question is SHOULD it be stretched to fit more books? With trilogies especially, we see the sophomoric slump, the filler middle book. This is were I think that condensing the story would have made more sense and wouldn't have pissed off the readers. Look at Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. There were 7 books total. Could there have been more? Sure, I still have questions and what ifs that I would like answered. But did she tell the story and give a good, concise conclusion? Yes, she did.

To get off my tangent and give a real answer, I will say no more than 20 for long series. For regular series no more than 10 and for short series no more than 5. I like trilogies. There are always 3 so you don't have to keep wondering how many more books will there be. What do you think? How many books is too much in a series? What does your ideal series consist of? 


  1. I agree that the length of a series is dependent on the content of the story. On my answer, I talked abut the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, which is up to 18 books and a series I think needs to end soon. there are only so many ways one can capture bad guys, so many bad guys to be had and only so many ways to flit between two guys. (obviously I've stopped reading it. LOL)

    Trilogies are probably my fave, too; they're easy reading. :)

  2. Wow! I really enjoyed reading this answer! You did some digging for sure and that is great! I loved the Fear Street series when I was a kid.... LOL. I had no idea that some of this books today in the series are being Ghost Written... I am not too sure I like that. Perhaps that is a good question for another week on TMST. :) The Babysitters club is HUGE! Holy cow I had no idea but then again with the ghost writers...

    I also didn't realize there were so many large series in the YA market... where have I been to not have noticed this. Of course, I mention HOuse of Night in my answer I didn't know that there was supposed to be 15 books in that series. That is crazy long.

    I totally see your thoughts here and I agree the stand a lone title has seem to disappear. I wonder why? (yet another good TMST question)

    Like you, I don't like to wonder how many there will be and I really don't like when you have no clue when the next book comes out or when it never does because that just leaves an excited reader hanging!

    Thanks so much for joining in TMST this week! Loved your answer!

  3. I didn't do that much research for my answer! LOL but I agree with you on the varying lengths.

  4. Hi Krista,
    I totally crashed with this Q, I don't seem to read book series... Only just started Morganville and The Hunger Games... I guess it really comes down to each indivual author and their story as to how long it should be. :0)
    P.s I really enjoyed reading about your "digging"... Very interesting post.. I read a lot of R.L Stine in school, I bow to him for his introduction to horror.


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