Amazon’s “Start a New Series” page

Amazon’s “Start a New Series” page

Series are special.

Book series preceded radio and movie series, which preceded TV series…but they are still going strong.

Certainly, there are series I have loved. I especially like finishing  series.🙂

I know, I know…I should be disappointed when that happens…the end of a great relationship.

However, I also like the idea that I’ve finished something…that I’ve read all there is to read.

Of course, nowadays, you can never know that there won’t be more.🙂

That’s true even if the author is deceased.

After all, we have

Kindle Worlds (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That’s Amazon’s new(ish) spin on fanfic (fan fiction), although it isn’t really that. A rightsholder licenses a property to Kindle Worlds. Following a few guidelines, anybody can write in that world…they don’t need permission outside of it being in Kindle Worlds.

The rightsholder, the author, and Amazon all get a cut of the sale.

So, even though Kurt Vonnegut died before the first Kindle was released (it was the same year), new books in “The World of Kurt Vonnegut”: 51 at time of writing.

I read  all 181 of the original Doc Savage adventures…but more authorized titles are being published.

As it did with some other things (crossovers, for one), I give credit to the (Wizard of) Oz series for pioneering the continuation of a popular series of books with other authors.

The Oz books were the Harry Potter series of their day (the first one was published in 1900). People would be lined up outside the bookstore to buy the new one, and there were Oz clubs.

After L. Frank Baum died in 1919, one more Baum Oz book was published. Then, in 1921, the same publisher brought out the next book in the series…written by another author, Ruth Plumly Thompson. Thompson would actually go on to write more books than Baum had.

Interestingly, Thompson was not at all trying to imitate Baum’s style, from what I could see. It was certainly the same world with the same characters, but the writing was different.

That’s one of the benefits of the thorough world building that Baum had done. We literally had a map of Oz (and surrounding lands), and the rules were carefully delineated (after the first book).

For example, nobody ages in Oz…and that happened all at once to a “normal” land. Yes, that means that some people would be babies forever…which Baum addresses in The Tin Woodman of Oz.

Thompson takes that existing world, and tweaks it…essentially, people can age if they chose to do so.

As you can tell…I love the intertwined complexity of a book series.🙂

What happens when you want to start a new series?

Amazon has a page just for that:

Start a New Series (at AmazonSmile*)

Limiting it down to

Start a New Series (Kindle) (at AmazonSmile*)

we see these numbers for the categories:

  • Arts & Photography (1)
  • Biographies & Memoirs (4)
  • Children’s Books (6)
  • Christian Books & Bibles (32)
  • Comics & Graphic Novels (47)
  • Crafts, Hobbies & Home (1)
  • Engineering & Transportation (1)
  • Gay & Lesbian (2)
  • History (6)
  • Humor & Entertainment (1)
  • Literature & Fiction (229)
  • Mystery, Thriller & Suspense (112)
  • Parenting & Relationships (1)
  • Politics & Social Sciences (3)
  • Reference & Test Preparation (3)
  • Religion & Spirituality (35)
  • Romance (103)
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy (97)
  • Teen & Young Adult (14)

As might be  expected, Romance, Mystery, and Science Fiction/Fantasy dominate. I think that’s what most people think of when they think of fiction series.

Note that the numbers above clearly include non-fiction (hm…I would have thought there would have been a lot for travel)…and that the same series might appear in more than one category.

What are the ten most reviewed series in this set?

  1. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (I’ve read one)
  2. The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One by Patrick Rothfuss (haven’t read one)
  3. Wicked: Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years Book 1) by Gregory Maguire (I’ve read one…I would read more, although the series tries to make it seem like it is based on the public domain Oz books and not on the 1939 movie, but the wicked witch being green is an important plot element. That’s from the movie, not the books ((the movie was playing with colors, since it was an early color film)))
  4. Dune by Frank Herbert (read several of these)
  5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing by Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey (haven’t read)
  6. Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse by James Rawles (haven’t read)
  7. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1) by J.R. Ward (haven’t read)
  8. Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1) by Jim Butcher (I’ve read  the first one, and would certainly read more. I also watch the TV series)
  9. Dead Until Dark: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel by Charlaine Harris (huh…although I own some in paper, I realize I haven’t read this. I have seen the first season of True Blood)
  10. Foundation by Isaac Asimov (I’ve read the original trilogy)

One last though: I’m now a bit more reluctant to start a series (and I always want to read them in order). I have come to prize reading a variety of books…and for that reason, I’d say, committing to a series is less attractive.

What do you think? Do you like series? Do you prefer them? Are you a completist? Will you read a series out of order? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

 

 

6 Responses to “Amazon’s “Start a New Series” page”

  1. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I read a lot of series. Many of them are mysteries that started way back in the seventies and eighties, like Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone, Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone, Dana Stabenow’s Kate Shugak, Sara Paretski’s V I Warshawski. Some of those series have stayed interesting, but I do think it’s about time for Kinsey Milhone to retire. The last few books have not held my attention. James Lee Burke still holds my interest with his Dave Robicheaux series. Kathy Reichs Temperance Brennan series has gone downhill since the introduction of the TV series. About the only think that the character has in common in both book and TV series is the name, and I have a feeling it’s getting harder and harder for the author to separate the two. I bailed on Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta series. She started to lose me when she changed viewpoints from first person to third person and started writing in present tense, which I hate. Then her characters started acting really out of character.

    Joan Hess hasn’t written any new books in the Magody series in a long time. The last book didn’t have the feel of a series ender, so I keep hoping Arly Hanks will make a return.

    John MacDonald died after the release of “The Lonely Silver Rain.” Even though it wasn’t an intentional series ender, it did bring the series back to the beginning and made an appropriate ending to the series. I remembered reading an interview with him after the release of his last book and he mentioned having several more books in his “word processor.” We were just on the cusp of the home computer revolution in those days. After his death, I kept hoping those books would make their way out of the word processor and onto the bookstore shelves. Maybe some day those lost manuscripts will surface. Meanwhile, in my imagination, Travis is still living on the Busted Flush and taking his pieces of retirement in between salvage operations.

    I was sad when new Benny Cooperman novels stopped appearing. Then, I discovered the book “The Man Who Forgot How to Read,” which solved the mystery of why Howard Engel shopped writing.

    I was disappointed when the Harry Potter series came to an end. I do wish that J. K. Rowling would have had her epiphany about which character Harry Potter should have married before the final book was published. I was also dismayed by the deaths of so many characters. Still, it was a satisfying ending.

    I also hated to see Kim Harrison end her Hollows series. I miss Jenks and Al and Ivy and Rachel. The final book brought a satisfying conclusion but left too many loose ends.

    I could go on and on and on…perhaps I already have!
    What was the question? Do I like series. Obviously I do. Even though I’m a big fan of mysteries, for me, the characters are always more interesting than the crime or mystery they are trying to solve.

    Was it synchronicity that “The Cat, the Sneak and the Secret,” the newest installment of the cats in trouble series, downloaded to my Kindle just after midnight this morning due to the magic of preorder? Eagerly waiting for “Faux Paw: A Magical Cats Mystery” by Sophie Kelly to magically download on October 6.

    Still wondering why Marcia Muller’s “Someone Always Knows” originally scheduled for publication in early July of this year now has a release date of July 2016 and why it seems to have dropped off the face of Amazon as well as the rest of the publishing world with no explanation.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      I’d say there is only one series which we still read whenever the next one is released, and that’s Stephanie Plum. That’s despite our feeling that they have been much worse in the last few. I only started reading that series because of my Significant Other, and I really read it as a shared experience, more than a need to read the next one.

      It reminds me a bit of this great bit from The Big Bang Theory:

      “They can’t just cancel a show like Alphas. You know? They have to help the viewers let go. Firefly did a movie to wrap things up. Buffy the Vampire Slayer continued on as a comic book. Heroes gradually lowered the quality season by season till we were grateful it ended.”
      –The Closure Alternative episode, screenplay by Steven Molaro, Jim Reynolds, Steve Holland

      I’ve read the first book in The Hollows, and really enjoyed it. I suspect I’ll read more at some point.

      Thanks for mentioning The Man Who Forgo How to Read! That’s gone on my Wish List.🙂

  2. Elizabeth Says:

    A series can be a great way to get comfortable with a character, place or dive into a topic area. Started years ago with Sara Paretsky’s VI mysteries, but these days it is less about mysteries.

    Currently enjoying Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles (legends and world mythology), Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s (history and time travel) and Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series. The last 2 are British authors so the slang takes a bit of adjustment to this American but still fun. Since these series are shorter they fill in while waiting for the next Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files book and other favorite authors.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Elizabeth!

      I’m pretty comfortable with British slang…even of the 19th Century variety.🙂 I’ve read a lot of series in my time…Tarzan, Elric, Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Doctor Doolittle, The Survivalist…on and on. I guess I’m reading what is officially a series now: Scout Finch.😉 I’m re-reading TKaM, then I’ll read Watchman.

  3. Man in the Middle Says:

    It takes a lot to get me to read more than a trilogy. Dark Space is the most recent series to keep me interested beyond 3 books, and did so in part by making all of them after the first free in return for writing an honest review. Before that, it was Evan Currie’s Odyssey One series of 4 books, Both it and Dark Space tell only a single story, but just ended up needing more than three volumes to get it all told. Earlier, I read and loved all of the Asimov Foundation series books, including the related robot series books, and am glad to have done so. It’s a reall big story, so took a LOT of books to tell, but still eventually ended.

    What I really dislike are series that never go anywhere, such as most Star Trek and Star Wars books. They don’t have consistent authors, and aren’t allowed to change anything in the main stories to which they link, so usually seem a waste of time.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Man!

      I’ve ready many series that are a lot more than three books. They don’t all have a through story, though.

      What you are listing at the end I would consider universes rather than series…and some of them have multiple series within them.🙂 Personally, I like that a lot. I like exploring the backgrounds and greater worlds. It’s a bit like Rashomon stories, where you see the same story told from different perspectives, or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.

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