Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 15, 2016

Book Series – Pet Peeve

Happy Birthday to all our Presidents Past and Present.

blog lincoln

Above illustration by by Meryle Treatner. Featured on Illustrator Saturday – May 16th 2015.

I have been reading a number of book series and I thought I would share some of my observations hoping I might influence some of you working on a book series.

My pet peeves:

  1. I hate when an author tries to make a three book series out of a book and a half story.
  2. I hate feeling tricked by an author who ends their first book with the protagonist laying in a pool of blood leaving the reader not knowing if she is dead or alive. This happened recently. I was enjoying the book and reading it on my Kindle, so I had no idea that the next page was the last. I was so mad, if it was a paperback book, I would have thrown it across the room or tossed it in the trash. I also went to Goodreads to write a seething review, but held back my anger. A few hours later I went to Amazon and checked for how much I paid. When I discovered that it was a free book, that soften the blow and I bought the next book in the series, but I still felt tricked. I actually ended up reading the three books because she was a good writer and forgave her, because the first one I would have trashed was her debut book.
  3. The second and third book should not be a shorter repeat of the first book. It is okay to put in reminders, but no one wants to read pages summarizing a book you already read. I do think there are some exceptions. Over the years there have been a few high fantasy books that took a few years between books and had a so many weird named characters that I would have welcomed a reminder of who was who.
  4. Another thing that upsets me are books that I buy thinking it is a stand alone book, when it is really a series. I really appreciate seeing *** This is not a stand-alone book. It is part of the 3 book series.*** in the description. No more tricks, please!
  5. IMHO, I think even if you write a book that will be part of a series, each book should have a beginning, middle, and a satisfying ending. If the story is good and the characters are good, your readers will want to read more without you trying to trick them. There should be enough going on in your book that will allow you to end book 1 and still continue with another thread of the story or another character in the story.
  6. IMHO Cliff hanger chapter ending are great, but not for book endings.

Here are two authors you might want to read who do a great job with series:

Lauren Oliver & Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Belated Happy Valentines Day here are two Valentine illustrations.

blog valentine doris

By Doris Ettinger –

blog valentine creature with heart

By Amalia Hoffman –

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Whole heartedly agree. This is also goes IMHO for movies too.


  2. Kathy, the artist is MERYLE TREATNER… and a proud ‘CATugeau’ member. 😉 thanks for putting this great Presidents image up of hers!


    • I knew she was one of your artists. Thanks for pointing out the misspelling. I changed that tree times before it posted. You’d wonder how one could be so wrong so many times.


  3. I agree with this list wholeheartedly! I hate that feeling of being “tricked” with a series. Each book should be a complete story that could stand alone, but make you want to keep reading because you love the story and characters, not because you have to find out what happens. Then it just feels like a volume to me, and that makes me feel cheated and I stop caring. There may be subplots left open, but the main story/quest should never be left untold. It’s amazing to me how many well regarded authors get away with this. I hope series writers follow you advice.


    • Yes! So glad someone feels the same way. I hope the message spreads.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. From your lips to authors ears. And great illustrations!!


  5. Kathy – Thanks for including my Owl Love Valentine.


  6. You and I were on the same wavelink, although I wasn’t complaining in a recent blog post about series, but what stops me reading.


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