My idea of a cliffhanger... ;)
One such case was about cliffhangers. First of all, let me be the first to assure my avid-reading friends that I HATE cliffhangers! And I don't write them.
But, in one of my books, I decided to warn readers that because the book was a prequel, it does have a cliffhanger-like ending, but in my opinion, it really doesn't. I'll explain that in a few seconds. My beta readers suggested that I remove the disclosure, that after reading the story, I didn't need to apologize for the way the book ended, because it was a perfect ending. Well, I didn't listen. I kept the disclosure in the first part of the book: 'A note from the Author', AND I added it to the 'From the Author' section on Amazon, which is right below the description, simply because I didn't want to upset anyone.
The fact of the matter is
This person's complaint baffled me because I wasn't really sure what she calls a true cliffhanger. The first part of the story was complete; the current situation culminated to this one scene. Now
Contrary to what a lot of readers are saying, a book series that finishes one situation, but leaves something dangling is not a new practice started by Indie authors; it's been around for a long time.
Two recent, mainstream books that come to the top of my head are Twilight and The Hunger Games. The current issue is resolved, but there's a bigger picture, a vengeful vampire scurrying off to lick her wounds and come back another day, or a powerful president who doesn't want anyone questioning his authority...
BUT...I promise you. My books are all complete stories. You do not need to read the next book, the current situation is resolved, but YES...I am going to give you something that will hopefully make you want to come back for more.
And Twilight and The Hunger Games even split the last two movies in half, making movie goers wait to see the other half of the book.
Below are the firsts in my book series/collections, which
The firsts in my on-going collections...
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A cliffhanger usually appears once a reader has had time to read about the characters and get invested in their journey and it more or less forces a reader to buy the next book to find out what happens next.ReplyDelete
A teaser is less...manipulative, for lack of a better word. A teaser, by my understanding of one, should be a snapshot of the story to draw someone in. Whether or not they want to invest in the book is up to them. If they don't they won't be the wiser since they haven't spent time on the plot.
As for prequels, you shouldn't have to apologize. Most prequels I've ever read ended in such a way that I wasn't left dangling and had to pick up the next book to find out what happens to that couple. It's usually a short, quick story that delivers some background information or a history to the upcoming series, and they usually always stand alone. How a reader perceives a prequel or a cliffhanger is really their own problem. And that is coming from a reader :)
Thank you, Michelle! It is a cliffhanger, but I think there's no way the reader doesn't see it coming.Delete
Funny thing is... Lately, many readers complain when things are tied up in a nice pretty bow. Well, I don't think anyone will ever accuse me of that in the Creatus series. lol!