Bookish Thoughts: It’s Time to See Other People, Changes to NYTimes Bestseller Lists, Cliffhangers and Kindle Unlimited

Posted January 27, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 7 Comments

​I’ve been struggling with contemporary romances that focus solely on the protagonists without any external conflicts. This has been on my mind since I finished Playing the Player by Amy Andrews, book three in the Sydney Smoke Rugby Series. The hero and heroine didn’t do much away from each other. They obviously didn’t live in each other’s pockets, but all their focus and attention was on the other. There were no breaks in the story where, say, the hero was at rugby practice, or out with his boys, that he wasn’t thinking or talking about the heroine, and vice versa. I enjoyed the story overall, but I would have liked to see them have a life away from each other.

This is something I’m seeing a lot more of lately. We’d come out of it there for awhile, but now even my favorite authors are sliding back into the habit of having them focus just on each other. Can we go back to the hero and heroine falling in love, but also doing things away from each other?

The New York Times had dropped their Bestseller lists for Manga and Graphic novels. They announced plans to revamp their lists, and indicated others may be done away with as well.  From the PW article:

“Our major lists will remain, including: Top 15 Hardcover Fiction, Top 15 Hardcover Nonfiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Fiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Nonfiction, Top 10 Children’s Hardcover Picture Books, Top 10 Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover Chapter Books, Top 10 Children’s Young Adult Hardcover Chapter Books, and Top 10 Children’s Series. Several more including Paperback Trade Fiction, Paperback Nonfiction, Business, Sports, Science, and Advice Miscellaneous will remain online. Readers will be notified that individual lists will no longer be compiled and updated by the New York Times on the relevant article pages.”

Among the lists that appear to have disappeared are the graphic novel/manga and the mass market paperback lists as well as the middle grade e-book and young adult e-book lists.

This week I discovered a new UF series. Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. Stolen Magic, book one, was an Amazon recommended read. It was $3.99 so I figured I’d give it a go. I really enjoyed it, but it ended on a cliffhanger. Though I grumbled a bit, I bought book two (also at $3.99.), Murdered Gods, and read it immediately. And it ended on a cliffhanger. No other books from the series are out yet. Each book is listed around 260 pages, though they felt much shorter, especially the second book. Assuming the series stops at 3 books (though I have no idea, since I can’t find any information about it on the author’s website), I’ll end up paying approximately $12 for what is, in essence, a single full-length novel. If the author stops with three parts. Otherwise, who knows when it’ll end.

Look, I don’t mind spending money on books. Especially when I’m really loving a series. But this new trend of breaking a novel into parts and releasing it as a serial, with each part costing $2.99-$5.99, is really starting to irk me. Especially when they aren’t marked as having cliffhangers or being “parts” of a book, rather than full-length titles. Or maybe I’m just being cheap?

To be fair, both parts are available for free on Kindle Unlimited. Since I don’t subscribe, I had to pay full price for them. Which brings me to…

Is Kindle Unlimited worth the money? I’ve avoided subscribing thus far because there weren’t a lot of books available that I wanted to read when it first launched. Now it seems like they have a greater, more varied selection. Thoughts?

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7 responses to “Bookish Thoughts: It’s Time to See Other People, Changes to NYTimes Bestseller Lists, Cliffhangers and Kindle Unlimited

  1. CelineB

    I’ve used kindle unlimited twice for a month each time (I did the free trial when they launched it and then again last year I got a free month included in my purchase of a new kindle). For me it’s not worth the price. Since I’m a prime member, I get one book a month free from the unlimited selection and that’s enough to get my top priority books. I also have a crazy amount of tbr books (over 500) sitting on my kindle so adding more with kindle unlimited doesn’t make sense for me. Maybe if you’re basically caught up on your tbr pile, it would be a good way to find more books at a cheaper price.

  2. JenM

    There are lots of books that I’d like to get that are on KU (for example, I just read Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon and would love to continue that series), but the problem is that my TBR mountain is already so huge that even though it’s just $10/mo. I can’t justify it. I have Amazon Prime, so I carefully choose one book per month to borrow and leave it at that. Maybe one day, if I ever whittle down the endless TBR mountain….

    • My TBR mountain is also a consideration. Would I be paying $9.99/mo for books I’m probably never going to read? The answer, sadly, is probably yes.

  3. This recent trend of books being divided into parts without it *expressly* saying that in the blurb, on the author”s website or on the sale page of the site where it is for sale is more than irksome, it feels like you are being robbed.

    It happened recently to me with one of my favourite authors Laura Griffin. The book was pimped as the start of a new series and I bought the first book only to find it was the first PART of a story. The only saving grace was that the 2nd concluding part came out a month later so not long to wait. Predictably she was slaughtered on FB and in the Amazon reviews – people were NOT happy, understandably so, having to pay full price twice for a single book in 2 parts. Ms Griffin did comment on FB that she had heard what the fans were saying.

    I have noticed that a lot of authors are putting on their websites and Amazon *NO cliffhanger – full, complete book*

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