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Old 02-03-2011, 07:50 AM   #1
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Suggestion to authors

I find that prolific authors seldom have any indication of book series or order in which they intend their books to be read, if so intended. I've gone to various authors' websites, their Amazon sites, etc. and I've never seen any indication of what order (if it matters) they intend their books to be read.

Perusing the forums, I came across Jeffrey Carver and his books (just as an example.. and not picking on him.) I checked out his site on Amazon and found a couple of pages of books.. some in series.. but no indication if reading in any order is intended. I hate picking up a new author to read and finding I've stumbled onto book 3 of a 4 part series.

Before I got my EBR, I was reading library books by a recent favorite author, Jack McDevitt. I had the same issue with his website. There was no clear order to his series... and he has several different series books... Alex Benedict and Priscilla Hutchins. It took some work to be able to figure out which books in what series to read to keep the flow consistent. However, in this particular case, they pretty much stand alone, still, I prefer to read in action sequence as some references typically are made to prior events.

I'd like to request that you authors please post such information in a prominent place on your sites where your work is made available, if you can do so.

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:30 AM   #2
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I often take a quick look for the Wikipedia entry for the author. It may not be up-to-date or accurate, but it gives me a place to start.

i.e. Jack McDivitt

Books are often listed in a series or, if not, by publication date. Related books to a series are sometimes mentioned too.
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Old 02-03-2011, 08:34 AM   #3
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I also use http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ since a lot of my science fiction authors are listed there.

i.e. Jeffrey A Carver
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:02 AM   #4
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Thanks Wetdogeared. While that is indeed helpful, I would think the author on their own websites could make it clear. That's always been my starting place. Maybe I should start at wikipedia first.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:04 AM   #5
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We already had a thread about this The problem is not so much the mainstream authors, for whom such information is available on sites like Fantastic Fiction, but the indie books on Smashwords where there might not be any other place to learn about the books. Authors who are not known and are trying to build a fanbase need to make it as easy as possible for new readers. If I can't tell at a glance what book is first, I skip over the whole series. I just don't have time to go hunting around for it.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:10 AM   #6
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I figured I wasn't the first to have this issue. Just wasn't sure how to search for the topic.
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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Some author's websites, like Jeffrey A. Carver's, do offer such information.

http://www.starrigger.net/#book

http://www.starrigger.net/book-uni.htm
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:02 AM   #8
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Hmm. Interesting. When I went to his Kindle link in his sig I didn't see that info. Looks like I picked a bad example!
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #9
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I recently did just this, adding the number in the subtitle. So now, for example, Secrets to Die For has the subtitle "Detective Jackson Mystery #2." I did this as a convenience for readers, but I'm watching my sales to see if it has a negative effect. I worry that some readers who might be attracted to a single book or title might change their mind when they realize it's the third in a series. Which is why bookstores and publishers do not like to have the number on the book. It's a risk. As information: All my Jackson books can be read as standalones.

L.J.
[Promotional link deleted - MODERATOR]

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 02-26-2012 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:16 AM   #10
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I never considered that. Seems like a two-edged sword then. Thanks for your perspective.

From a reader perspective, I'd still like to know the order.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:29 AM   #11
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There would be a danger in doing that of putting readers off if it isn't strictly necessary for people to read them in a specific order, especially if one of them isn't available for whatever reason. Listing them in publication date order would probably work best. But if they do need to be read in order they should be numbered.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:44 AM   #12
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I usually end up at Wikipedia entries for this. I don't expect authors to post it. I want the author's next book!
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:08 PM   #13
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What Penforhire said - Wikipedia is fantastic, and I've made sense of many book series that way! It helps that sometimes there are both chronological and publication lists.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
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You can usually go by the date of publication.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobavey View Post
You can usually go by the date of publication.
That won't help when there are different series from the same author.
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