Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Help for the Series Dilemma

How many times has this scenario happened....?

You're standing in a Barnes & Noble, and you come across a book you think you'll love. You're instantly attracted to the cover, and when you read the flap, you can't wait to plunk down your hard-earned dollars and dive right in! But, wait! You look closer and see the word "SERIES." This is both good news, and bad. Good, because, hey - if you like this book, you've got at least a few more that will be similar to it - characters and settings that will carry over to the next book. There's something so comforting and familiar about a series...

Bad news? Surely the book in your hand doesn't just happen to be #1. It's never that easy. Or worse, you can't TELL which number in the series it is. So, you panic and flip to the front cover, and see 8 previous titles listed. Ack! You have to start at the beginning, don't you? So, you return to the bookshelf and scan the titles again, and pray that #1 is among them. But it isn't. Deflated, you shelve the book in your hand (because, really, who wants to read #9 in a series first?), and make a mental note to look up the first book online (and then you usually forget the author or title, by that point...).

(Even worse is when the series books aren't numbered!! WHY aren't all series clearly numbered? I'll never understand that...)

Well, this may be just the solution you need -- I stumbled across an invaluable site for booklovers, called FictFact. It's a huge database of SERIES books that tells you the exact order in a particular series, and even notifies you when the new releases are coming out. So, just get out that fancy i-Phone in the middle of Barnes & Noble, and start tapping in the title in your hand. This database should give you all the info you need. And, if the book isn't available in the bookstore, the site even has a button that leads you directly to Amazon, to purchase the book, then and there.

Dontcha love the internet??? ;-)


  1. Haha, I've had all that happen to me before! The worst is when you purchase a book and don't realize until you've finished that's it's #3 out of 5. Then, you have to go find #1 and start from the beginning. I will definitely check out that site!

  2. I did that just a few months ago. Picked up a book and that was literately the 7th in the series of 15. Had to spend the next few weeks trying to fill in the gaps by reading backwards.

  3. lol - wow - yep, I've done the same thing before. Very frustrating!

    Maybe that's partly why I've decided for the series I'm writing to be stand-alone books (all taking place in the same town, but a new "main" character each time).

    Thanks for posting!

  4. I agree -- all series should HAVE to have a little number on the spine. It'd save so much confusion!

    Also, I have to say, just about every time I've ever gone to the bookstore to buy the first in a series or trilogy, they never have the first one. Never ever. So annoying. And why I prefer to just buy books over Amazon, to be honest. (This is also so I don't have to leave the house.)