Without a doubt, when I fall for a series, I fall HARD. I want more of those characters, more of that world, and just more of that author’s amazing writing. So when an author releases little extras to a series, I get very excited.
Sometimes an author will give you an extra glimpse in a character who had more of a supporting role in the story — perhaps it was a character who was near and dear to them, but didn’t get enough “screen time” in the book.
Or sometimes an author will give you an additional scene to a story, maybe something that was cut from the first book, or a scene they know the fans will love, like the extra story for Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series, or the Target scene from Karina Halle’s Experiment in Terror series.
Other times, we’ll get a whole new story, based on some small thing from the main book, like Uncharted by Tracey Garvis Graves, a novella that accompanies On the Island. We see the main characters again, but mostly get the story of the person who was on the island previous to the main characters and built a shed/house that they took residence in.
I like to think of stories like this like I would a special for a TV show. We might get a little bit more character development, but the real meat of the story will still remain in the main books. Not everyone has an ereader, or the interest in reading anything outside of, say, a trilogy, so why try to have all of these extras that not everyone can have access to?
Another thing to keep in mind with these shorts is that while they can be fun and amazing to read, there’s also a price to consider. What is a reasonable price for a short story that’s an extra to a larger series? I remember reading one extra, a not-even-10-page short for Lauren DeStefano’s The Chemical Garden trilogy, and I was disappointed. The story was so short — and at $2.99, way too expensive. But then there are stories for other series that I’ve gotten for free from my online retailers and I would’ve paid at least $0.99 to $1.99 for them. What kind of price is appropriate? Should a price be based on the author’s name? Or by page count?
Do you read short story extras to series? What are your favourite types of extras? How much do you think is a reasonable amount to pay for one?