Wednesday, July 18, 2018
I've been wanting to start a discussion about cliffhangers for a while but so many readers don't seem to have as much of a problem with them as I do, or maybe I'm mistaken. A couple of weeks ago I became so mad at some of the 'freebie' ebooks I had read from Amazon that I deleted all but 3 ebooks from my Kindle and decided to start over with no freebies because too many times they end with a cliffhanger and to me, that's just unacceptable.
It seems like the reasoning behind the cliffhanger is to entice the reader into buying the next book in the series because you just have to know what happens next! But that's not what happens with me. Nope, I just get mad and put that author on my 'never read again' list. I think most of us readers and bloggers have a list like that.
Seeing so many cliffhanger endings lately in books has me wondering what authors are thinking? Aren't they aware that we readers hate that? Are they aware that some readers will completely write them off if they leave their book in a cliffhanger and never read their books again? I mean, they do want to sell books, right?
Let's get one thing straight though. I'm not talking about a background story arc for the entire series that doesn't get solved until the last book. That I can understand as long as the main story in each book in the series is resolved and no huge gaps are left open. A book should have a beginning, middle and real ending that closes all the gaps and leaves no questions open about the main story. When I pay for a book, I want a full book with a complete story, not something that is left wide open so I feel like I just read half a book. If I invest hours of reading into a book and it abruptly ends with a cliffhanger, that will be the last book by that author that I ever read. To me that is so incredibly sleezy, so selfish and I am so tired of it. Authors need to hear that we don't like it and it's going to cause them to lose readers if they keep it up.
I do realize that a continuing story arc is different than a full out cliffhanger and I'm fine with that. There is a way to keep readers interested and coming back for the next book without frustrating the hell out of them and pissing them off. All of the loose ends with the main plot need to be tied up so we get a full, complete story. If you plan on leaving a "To Be Continued" at the end of your book, just don't.
Cliffhangers make me feel like the author is trying to force me into buying the next book to see an ending that should have been in the first book. If you are going to have a cliffhanger ending then you should be required to put that right on the cover.
So what about you? How do you feel about cliffhangers?
Posted by Mary Kirkland at 12:00 AM