How I feel about Cliffhangers and a bit of advice.

From Kaw’s Desk:

DON’T DO IT!!!  I hate a cliffhanger (especially as a sales gimmick) but when done correctly it doesn’t leave me feeling ripped off. What is correctly? Well, for example, I finished a book last night called Warden… by Montana Ash. It was a good book and I won it for free at a book launch party. It had some writing issues, but it was good. Excellent culture building, excellent conflict, but some minor issues but it ended with the dreaded cliffhanger. Oh nooooooooo! But I wasn’t mad… or as mad because the first book was mostly resolved. The cliffhanger was that now I need to know what a Custodian is.. and how it affects the group dynamic AND the society itself. Which is great! It’s what a cliffhanger should be. Resolution of the current conflicts but an invitation to spend more time in that world. Learn more about it… I gave her 5 *’s even with the minor issues. I also have the next book in the series which I intend to read tonight and if I hadn’t won them both at the event, I would have bought the second one if it was priced in the $2-3 range.

Here’s the problem with a badly written cliffhanger:
When I’ve read a .99 50-100 page booklet/pamphlet that is poorly written and ends with a cliffhanger I get mad. I get mad because usually  it’s a gimmick because you know your writing isn’t strong enough to make someone want to buy more without it. Do me a favor… hone your skills, read your reviews and learn from your mistakes, then finish your book, sell it as a complete work. I’d forgive a crappy story and wouldn’t feel as bad about reading it if it was at least resolved. Stand by your story and if it’s crap, put a bullet in its head at the end to at least give your reader some closure.

The problem with well-written cliffhangers: 
When a good writer does this, to me it tells me that you don’t have confidence in your writing to let it stand on its own merit. I can understand that for newbies, and if that’s the case? Do yourself a favor, hone your writing skills, read your reviews and gain confidence and for the love of god finish your book!

Even a great book priced at .99 that ends in a cliffhanger can turn me off as a reader and leave me angry. For example, I read an amazing book, the writing was great, the story was awesome, I gave it 5 *’s but then it ended with a cliffhanger after 75 pages. Grrr…  but I wanna know what happens next so I’m like.. eh, it’s only another .99 I can handle that for another 75 pages.. which probably will end in another damn cliffhanger.

BUT… when I found installment number two? It was priced at $4.99 What in the actual F? for another 75 pages? Are you freaking high? I pay that for a full-length paperback that I can hold in my hand and feel pages turn! The betrayal was worse and my anger deepened as I realized there were 4 installments all priced at the same amount.

So let’s get this straight, you want me.. to spent $15 for a 300 page EBOOK?? Sorry… not happening. You’re not JK Rowling/Stephen King/ Anne Bishop/ etc signing hardback books or even a paperback for that matter. I respect that you worked hard, finished a book (sort of) and that time is money… but seriously. We are Indie Authors, build a following… get over your ego, and don’t get your panties in a bunch, I’m not saying give it away but don’t over-value your work either.

And if you price the next installment at anything other than .99, I want to find you and beat you with a newspaper. You want readers to come back. You want them to like you, not resent you or feel cheated.

But Kawanee, (you say) some of us can’t sit down and write a whole book all at once and can’t help that it’s sometimes a cliffhanger.
Yeah, I know… and  I understand that you’re selling installments of a work in progress, breaking it up into bite-sized chunks as you complete it. That’s fine;  I get it…but if you do it that way, at least make it reasonable to buy each installment. And when you finish the book, how about offering it as a complete novel for a lower discounted price?  Like .99 an installment for 4 installments and when the book is done, offer the complete book for $2.99-3.50?

I charged $1.99 for a 200-page ebook, I charged $2.99 for 300+ page ebook. If I had broken them down into 100-page increments it would be about a dollar for a hundred pages. That’s my pricing… not saying everyone has to do it that way but at least it’s reasonable. I’ll pay a $1.00 for 75-100 pages.

I read A LOT, and I review every one of the books because it’s important. 

The bottom line is this: I will pay a $1.00 for 75-100 pages. I will not pay $1.99 for 20 pages which I recently ran into with another author. I will not pay $4.99 for a 100-page installment in your WIP. Know what you’re worth, but don’t get greedy and don’t gouge your reader. I will leave you a scathing review if you end on an unresolved installment plan of a book.

~Kaw

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Published by: Kawanee Hamilton

Kawanee was born in Alexandria Louisiana but her first real memories are of Russellville Arkansas. She's always loved to read, and has always had an vivid imagination. She grew up in a house where almost everyone read, they didn't need a TV although she could still be found planted on her butt in front of her grandma's TV watching cartoons on Saturday mornings. She made up her first story with her mother when her cat died; it was about where pets go when they die. She continued to create stories from bad dreams she had and her dad would help her change nightmares to stories. They would sit up in a chair until the scary went away. He told her that: "Dreams, good or bad, are just stories your mind makes up. You are the author of your dreams; if you don't like them rewrite them. " She was hooked and has continued to read and write stories drawing from dreams, sights and just pure imagination. She just recently decided she'd like to try and get published and fail than wonder what if. Her story continues but where it goes from here is up to you, the Reader... She hopes you'll join her in finding out where her journey goes from here!

Categories authors8 Comments

8 thoughts on “How I feel about Cliffhangers and a bit of advice.”

    1. I honestly wouldn’t mind that…if it was .99 or even 1.99 for the next part as long as it’s a decent length and worth the money. I’m NOT paying .99 for 20 pages and I’m sure in heck not paying 4.99 for less than 200 pages.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good post and it cleaned up what I thought cliffhangers were about. Thank goodness my first Suleskerry book ends with situation resolved for now, but leads the reader into more situations unresolved in the next book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m kind of at the point where I’m annoyed with TV shows that say.. We’ll tell you after the break or break to a commercial at the most exciting time of the show.

      I mean they’d done that for years, but it’s getting ridiculous, or I’m getting old. Could be both.

      Liked by 1 person

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