Question: Do Long Waits Between Installments Mean Less Interest?

Posted February 13, 2014 by Carmel in Question / 18 Comments


For me, it depends on how long the wait actually is. One or two years is pretty standard but the six year wait between George R.R. Martin’s A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons would definitely have put a damper on my excitement level. Luckily, I quit that series after the third book—not because it wasn’t good, just a little too wordy for my tastes. I’d fall seriously behind on my reviews if I were reading 1,000+ page novels regularly!

I find that it’s easier to get excited about an upcoming release when you remember how the previous book ended. The longer the gap between installments, the fuzzier my memory gets. I’m not a big re-reader, so I really appreciate it when authors include a 1-2 chapter recap at the beginning of each novel. Although admittedly, I was a little frustrated when I heard that Karen Marie Moning pushed back Burned‘s publication date. Fortunately, it was still months away so I hadn’t really begun to get overly excited for it yet. Now, if she would have done so one month before the scheduled release that would have been a different story! Kinda like what Kalayna Price did with Grave Visions last summer. It was within my sights and then BAM—pushed back by a whole year! My interest in that title has indeed diminished a great deal as a result.

All this to say, that long waits between installments doesn’t mean less interest as long as the publication date doesn’t get pushed back too many times. After the second or third reschedule, I begin to question if the author has lost their writing muse, and what the cause of the delay is. I understand that shit happens but publishers shouldn’t announce release dates until they are pretty sure that they will be able to deliver on-time. Once it’s on their website for the world to see, they’ve made a commitment to their readers and should try to honor it as best as they can.

Do Long Waits Between Installments Mean Less Interest?

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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18 responses to “Question: Do Long Waits Between Installments Mean Less Interest?

  1. I am on the fence with this: the long wait (over a year) makes me forget (I am old) both details and my initial got to have it now excitement. That is how I end up behind in series. On the other hand, I have gotten really good at just stockpiling those books (the ones by authors that are notorious for long “inbetween” book times) so I can have that excitement 🙂 Probably not great for their numbers but I am just more of an excitement reader 🙂

  2. Yeah, I’m not a big fan of long waits, but if the end product is good I forget all about the waiting the minute I start reading . I don’t mind waiting 4 years between the Outlanders books, I know that when it comes out I’m going to get a week of great entertainment. Now for other books like let’s say BURNED..LOL it does tamper my enthusiasm, even though were just talking about an extra year, and I guess is because the rescheduling bit you mentioned..I feel the same way.

  3. I agree with your points, I think there’s a fine balance between volumes. One series I follow, the next book got pushed back almost a year from the original pub date. I now have to reread stuff so I can remember some of the finer points.

  4. I am on the fence with this …if its too long that I forget about the series. But if there are too many or not feeling the growth of the cast, then I do drop it. But if its too long of wait , then I may or maynot come back to it.

  5. Danielle

    I often wait to read new series until several books are out, because the long waits kill me. I hate when I forget what has happened. Still haven’t started last Cat and Bones because I need to remember where they left off.

  6. Coley

    I am usually pretty good if its a longer wait, as long as the series is worth it. There are some series that I read but my enjoyment of them is already sort of mediocre so the wait can be the push I need to drop the series. Nothing will ever beat the 16+ year wait for the last book in LJ Smith’s night world series. I know there were extenuating circumstances there but I wish it would either be cancelled or published already!

  7. Oh wow. The George R.R. Martin thing is actually a major point of contention for me. I had just started reading the series a couple of months before the fourth book was released, so I was all excited and took my poor college student self to the bookstore and bought the hardback. Then I got home and saw the author’s note about the book being too long, blah blah blah, split into two books, blah, second half out in a few months, blah blah. But he didn’t just split the story in half, he split the POVs (he said), so that both books would be covering the same span of time. BUT my fav characters weren’t in the first half, so I decided to wait until the second half came out and read them together.

    SIX YEARS LATER he gets a series on HBO and starts publishing A Song of Fire and Ice books again. I totally agree with you about shit happening sometimes, but don’t freaking lie to me about it. Kathleen Duey’s been working on the last book in her Skin Hunger trilogy for nearly 5 years too. If you’ve got writer’s block, or you don’t know where you want the story to go, I’m going to be disappointed b/c I love the books. BUT if you tell me you’re working on it, it’s practically in bookstores already, etc. and it’s not, I’m going to be seriously pissed. I think I’d rather have a reader disappointed than pissed, wouldn’t you?

    So I guess what really matters to me is how the author handles the delay. TELL THE TRUTH. Gah 😉

  8. I feel like sometimes I push books off until the series is almost finished. I don’t like to sit around and wait inbetween books and so sometimes I just wait until the entire series is finished and then start. There are so many unstarted series on my shelves just because I’m waiting for all the books to come out and then I can read them back to back if I so desire or at least read one every few months so I do not lose all of the details from the previous books.