Right now I’m going to expel some of my own beliefs on why I think series books work more than anything else. Some people would protest against that statement, but I believe in my heart that it’s true. I myself adore series. I love them. And that is because when I find a story that I can become invested in, there’s comfort in knowing that it won’t end any time soon and that I can partake in the enjoyment from that particular story for more than one book. The longer the series, the deeper the relationships get, and the deeper I find myself falling into their world. I love my characters and it is my hope that readers will love them too. If they do, I know they won’t be satisfied with seeing them in only one book.
Girls and women especially like series book, and for a number of things (at least in my case.) We are suckers for development. We are strange creatures and mix impatience and patience as we do love and hate. Sometimes it’s just impossible to differentiate the two. While we ache to see the guy get the girl, we also want him to work for it. And that takes time, which we understand. Though it just can’t be helped to sometimes think “Oh just kiss her already!”
In my particular case, I want to see just opposite almost as much as the first. Therein lies characters that become more real and genuine, because every relationship takes work. We want to be there on the journey with them, curious to see how it ends, and curious to see how that end comes about. At the end of the book the reader has to feel something. Emotion is what drives a story, and authors should want them to feel some sort of satisfaction, that they didn’t just waste their time reading a three, four, eight part series. That’s how you lose them and that’s how I’ve been lost. I’ve read series where this has happened to me, and it turned me off the author for the rest of my life. New releases be damned.
Guys can become invested in romance as well. I’ve talked to guys where they enjoy it in their books as long as it’s not the main focus, and a few of them are sensitive to how it plays out. They can recognize illusions when they see them, and prefer genuine characters that they care about. Seriously, tell me you don’t know a fan of Harry Potter that didn’t bitch about Ron and Hoirmoine’s relationship at the end of the book? Readers know. I believe in the intelligence of my fans.
They know what they want and no one should tell the otherwise. Readers are the ones that make the sales, after all. Not the author.