Friday, 27 July 2012

GUEST BLOGGER // Is this a sequel?

My long time friend and fellow book enthusiast, Brianna and I were recently discussing a problem that seems to be increasing as time goes on - figuring out what goes where! Please read her guest blog below and leave comments letting us know if you've come across this and what you think about it.

I don’t know if I just lack the required common sense, or maybe I’m just not looking properly, but I find that I am increasingly finding it harder and harder when it comes to series’ to work out which book is next (yes it is customary to put the title of the next one in the back of the first.) But if you haven’t read the first one and like me you refuse to go anywhere near the back of the book before reading it, or worse still you are buying the book either online of electronically, you miss this critical sign post.

So if you haven’t read the first book or don’t want to risk spoilers by looking for the title at the back of the book, how are you supposed to know which book is next?  Well we put our faith in the publishers and hope they have left us a clue, a small number on the spine takes the gold medal, runner up prizes go to having a sub-title proclaiming that it is book # in the series, mentioning it on the back cover, and having a page on the inside proclaiming its place in the series (although slightly disappointing). Sometimes if you’re lucky, the handy list of other book by this author may shed light on the correct order, but if you don’t know if you are holding the first book and it is helpfully left off the list, then it is not much help.

All of this is just if you are buying the book from a physical shop. The process just gets harder if you are buying online or if you are buying an e-book. In these situations you would expect that the retailers would help you out, but this seems to be pot luck.

So what is it that publishers find so difficult about clearly marking series’ and their intended order? Is a number on the spine so difficult? I can understand book 1 of a series not being marked, the author may not have intended to write more than one book, but the second book has no excuse.

The end result of this lack of numbering is that a lot of time is wasted trying to hunt down the rest of the series, the wrong books are bought and finally something which I suspect is just me, is that in order to find the right book I have read a lot of descriptions and blurbs, two things which I prefer not to read especially if a book is the sequel of another.

And ultimately the more obscure a series is or its chronology is, the less likely it is to be bought.

(And let’s not get started on the on multiple versions and the covers/size of the books in a series not matching!)

1 comment:

Annamarie said...

This annoys me to that they don't put what number in the series the book is on the spine. I have bought 3 books and they were books 3 and four of one set and book 2 of another really annoying when you want to read them

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