Thursday, January 15, 2009

What I should be doing/What I am doing

What I should be doing is plugging my January Allyson James release, Mortal Temptations. (A big warning--it's erotic paranormal romance. If you've read Emma Holly or Lora Leigh, you're ready for it. If you think my Jennifer Ashley romances are erotic romance--you're not ready.)

More information and excerpts, etc. can be found on my website:

What I am doing is playing on the Internet (the cat got off the chair, so I'm taking advantage).

My website of the week is a place called Fantastic Fiction: which is great for basic information about any author you want.

I don't know who puts this together, but the info is always current, plus they list an author's series books in order. Or they sort them by publication date if they don't know to what series they belong (because wacky authors like me write four or five different series at once).

I seem to read authors who have about 30 books running in a series, and for some reason, publishers don't always list books in order on the handy inside cover list of the author's previous publications.

(Marketing departments--WHY NOT?? Drives me crazy). (I hasten to add that Dorchester is very good about listing previous titles in publication order from most recent to oldest. Berkley is, too, on my books thus far.)

For instance, the other day I picked up a mystery novel at random from the stacks at a bookstore. It looked good. But I couldn't tell for the life of me where it fell in the series.

No "book 4 in the XX series" on the cover, and the previous titles were listed in random order (and they were in a different order in each book of the same series I looked at. I mean really different.) I tried to figure it out--couldn't.

Bought the book, knowing I was starting in the middle (I know this bugs some people, but I don't really mind--I can get a good flavor of how the series develops.) But, darn it, I want to go back and read book 1!

But the lovely Fantastic Fiction site had each of the author's series listed in order so I could find book 1. Thank you FF!

I encourage you to check it out. (I don't know these people, so this isn't paid advertising here, LOL.) They've saved me a lot of bother, I must say.

Am I alone in the "What order should they be read in" frustration? I try very hard to indicate on my websites the order of my series--not sure I always succeed. But this is something that publishers should keep in mind: Readers want backlist!!! Help them find it!


Gillian Layne January 15, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

This post should be like a petition, something that all readers could sign and forward to publishers. Nothing is more frustrating than falling in love with an author/characters, and not having a clue which book started it all or confusing book three and four and reading them out of order!

Hey, congrats on the release. We need some delicious romance, erotic or not, to warm up these frigid temps! :)

EmilyBryan January 16, 2009 at 7:53 AM  

That UK site is terrific. Thanks for sharing.

I post the info about my connected titles on my website, but you're right, Jenn. Publishers should also post series titles in the front of each book, so readers can look for them in the right order.

Jennifer Ashley/ Allyson James / Ashley Gardner January 16, 2009 at 3:16 PM  

When I'm standing in a bookstore aisle I don't have access to the author's website (or the fantastic, fantasticfiction one), so yes, I wish publishers would list the books in order! Even if I'm following a series closely I sometimes wonder if I've missed one.

Some publishers are very good at it. I follow the Lindsey Davis mystery series, and the UK publishers, Arrow, not only list the series in order but include color pictures of the book covers, so you can be really sure!

The two publishers I write for list the books in order. My Dorchester books list books in reverse order of pub date (so that the last on the list is the first one I wrote). Berkly lists the series in order starting with the first one at the top.

The only trouble is, there isn't space to break all my books into series. That's partly my fault because I write so many series. :-) I'm trying to get that under control!

Thanks ladies! Hope you're having a good Friday.

ddurance January 21, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

I have long been a fan of Fantastic Fiction. I promote it to my library patrons. It is so much easier to find book lists and series in order. Sometimes author sites are not even that clear about the order of books in series.


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