Prequels, Sequels, and Novella – Are the Authors Milking or Expanding the Series?

milkingexpanding

This post has been a long time coming, but I think this might be the right time to post it, albeit a little bit late.

Prequels, sequels and novellas have been a huge trend in the publishing world. Harry Potter has Fantastic Beast, Beedle the Bard, Quidditch Through the Ages, and some other novellas. The Mortal Instruments has The Infernal Devices, The Dark Artifices and Last Hours, not to mention the Codex and Bane Chronicles. Percy Jackson has Heroes of Olympus, Trials of Apollo, Demigods Diaries and others. Grisha trilogy? Six of Crows, grisha folktale and the Language of Thorns. Those are some “big-series” for examples, but whatever the series is, you’ll bet there’s some novellas or prequels or sequels attached to it. The only one I don’t know about is The Hunger Games. There’s also the case of adding more books to the series (Lara Jean, Syrena Legacy and The Mortal Instruments are some of the examples), but we wouldn’t talk about them in this post.

The latest series joining the rank of “prequels, sequels and novellas” are The Raven Cycle and Shatter Me. Maggie Stiefvater announced the Ronan-centric trilogy, and while Shatter Me has some novellas in its series already, Tahereh Mafi also announces that there will be trilogy sequel that tells about life after battle, from Juliette and Warner povs.

The reaction of readers are definitely diverse. Some cries tears of joy, others slam table and said ENOUGH. Well, okay, maybe not that dramatic. But you get my point. Most often, the against side accuses the authors of milking the series and only in it for the money.

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While it looks that way for one group of readers, does the author really milking it? Or are they simply expanding the universe of their creation? After all, they created a whole new world, rules, languages, and characters- the grisha verse is an excellent example of it- aren’t the authors have the rights to expand and use more of the materials they created themselves? And don’t you, as readers, especially if you’re a fan of the originals, want to see more of the universe?

This might seem like a blaphsemy to some, but I will do it. Why did no one accuse J.R.R Tolkien of milking LOTR series, instead saying he’s expanding the universe, but accuse modern authors of milking it? And before you throw stones and pitchforks at me; yes, I know the world and character he created were extremely complex and that created a whole new genre, so I can’t compare them. But if we don’t give a chance to authors to EXPAND their world and imagination, how can we expect them to reach (maybe impossible to some) the level other authors have?

Another point is about author writing more books for the money. The last time I checked, being an author is a job. When we’re talking about jobs, everyone is in it to get the money, to be able to fulfill their daily needs. So obviously, they are writing for the money. Is there anything wrong with that? Not as far as I’m concerned. It’s a job. They should be getting money.

Personally, I do not mind with prequels, sequels and novella. Sure it gets tiring after a while, especially if you love the authors but hate the series, that’s why you want new materials. But in that case, I’ll just stop reading the series and move on, and let people that still enjoyed it reading it. No need to shame people who still reading it, or worse, the authors.

What do you think? Are you excited for Ronan Trilogy and the Shatter Me prequel?

tasya

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29 thoughts on “Prequels, Sequels, and Novella – Are the Authors Milking or Expanding the Series?

  1. I’ve never been all that bothered about authors expanding on the world they’ve created. It provides a chance to explore different angles, meet new characters and just enjoy the world they’ve already created. I especially like it when a series set in the same world as their existing one can also stand on its own and doesn’t require us having to read the series before to understand the mechanisms of the world. For example, I’ve not read The Grisha trilogy but had no problem following the Six of Crows duology because both series can stand as individual entities and don’t rely on one another. Plus if I’m tired of all the spin offs (which is what usually happens) I’ll just not read them. It’s a simple solution to what some people feel is a problem in the publishing industry.

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  2. That was suh an interesting post to read! 🙂 I sometimes admit that I get a little annoyed when an author keeps on going with a series when it easily could have been stopped before – I’m especially thinking about the PLL series, which would have done great at the end of the 8th book, and it dragged on for…8 MORE books, which was a bit useless and made me stop before the end.
    Whenever they’re doing prequels or novellas, expanding the world and letting us explore new characters as main characters, I always think it’s interesting to see this, especially when it’s a series and characters you love. I’m especilly excited about Ronan’s series, I’m sure it will be incredible! 🙂

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    1. I was about to agree wholeheartedly with the post, but I think you’re right on this part Marie, that some series, really, really do not need more books.

      I know it’s the author’s creation, but don’t we always say too that the story once out there, if it’s good, it kinda becomes its own thing? Some stories are best left alone. And others we can’t get enough of. I don’t think it’s WRONG for authors to do spin offs and prequels and sequels etc. But sometimes -mostly in the sequels case- it’s just not necessary and can detract from the ending of the previous book.

      Or who knows? It could improve the experience, like with the Grisha world. Most enjoyed the trilogy, but even more people adored Six of Crows.

      Now, when it’s okay and when it may be time to move on? Who the heck knows? XD It just seems something very subjective.

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  3. Great post! I am definitely one of those people who is excited for the new Ronan trilogy and Shatter Me books. If it’s a series I love, I always love getting more. And yes, there is a risk that I won’t like them as much as the originals, and that it will feel stretched out unnecessarily, but if that’s the case then so be it. I mean, no harm done, I’ll just stick with my originals and the people who love it can enjoy the rest as well. For some reason, I never really read novellas though. But prequels or sequels? Bring them on 🙂

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  4. I’m pretty much always happy to read a new series set in a favorite world. To me, it’s the perfect blend—we don’t have to wait through 12 books to get to the end of a series (and to find out what happens to our favorite characters), but we also don’t have to abandon that world we love after just a few books. It’s win-win. And I can always ignore a spinoff if I’m not interested.

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  5. Ah ha! Half a second before reading your question about JRR Tolkien, I thought the very same thing! I mean helloooo, The Hobbit. The LOTR trilogy. The Adventures of Tom Bombadill. The Silmarillion (published after death, so he clearly wasn’t milking it). OMG, the guy has songs from Middle Earth publish– with sheet music!!! I’m sure that just scratches the surface…

    I totally understand why authors want to publish novellas and sequels and per-sequels and all of the extra content. I’m sure they’re still passionate about it, and they want to keep sharing the world they created with their fans. And there must be an audience for this kind of content, or authors wouldn’t keep releasing it– their fans are gobbling it up too! I mean, I was a sucker for all of the additional Harry Potter content when it was released.

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  6. I’ve thought about this a lot with some of the series I’ve read.

    I LOVE the fact that JK Rowling still releases new writings about Hogwarts and the magical world. I love it. (I wished she had made “The Cursed Child” into a book, not a play, but that’s an opinion for a whole other post.)

    But at the same time, I also get a little tired of some prequels/sequels/novellas, even if I like the series. For example, I liked the first “Divergent” book, but haven’t read any of the prequels for it. So many books, so little time, kind of thing.

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  7. Awesome post! There seems to be a stigma when the topic “authors writing as a job” comes up which I don’t understand. Being an author is their job and of course they want to make money off of doing what they love. As you already know 🙂 , I love world expansion when it comes to my favorite series but only if it makes sense for the story to continue. If it seems like the author is just trying to come up with new material out from thin air without any planning ahead, I tend to not read it.

    That said, I am excited for the Ronan trilogy because I felt The Raven Cycle left a lot of questions unanswered that I need answers for. Shatter Me on the other hand, I couldn’t even get through the first book 😀 .

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