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ZeroNot t1_jdtss6y wrote

In the 1980s (as well as 70s to 90s) having a book series cancelled happened fairly frequently. At least one fantasy series per year, it seemed.

The usual cause was poor sales of later books in a series. Fans don't understand that for most readers, until they read book two, they are not going to buy book three (or later) in a given series. If book two or book three was released the month some other blockbuster was released, even cross-genre like Stephen King, that could be enough to kill an otherwise successful fantasy series. As books had to sell in the limited time that the store was willing to dedicate shelf space to a given title.


deevulture t1_jdwh560 wrote

People also don't seem to be interested in continuing a series even if the next book is available for various reasons. This is a phenomenon I've seen my library in libby. The first book in a series you've got to wait weeks for, but you can check out the sequel(s) any time you like


ZeroNot t1_jdwi1j6 wrote

Yeah. The sales charts for popular and successful series I've seen basically have book two at about 50% of the sales of book one, and book three at about 30% of the sales of book one.


Merle8888 t1_jdyte4j wrote

That makes sense, plenty of people won’t continue a series but few will read book 3 without having read the first two! Though publishers nevertheless put out so many series that I assume they must get more overall sales anyway when seeing the sequels around causes more people to buy book 1.