There Ought to be a Rule

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What if we could each submit our own “golden rule of publishing?” What might you change? What would you keep?

Here’s mine.

Thou shalt be allowed to finish stories. In some format. Somewhere.

How many times has your new favorite book or TV series been cancelled right in the middle of all its glory? Arrgghh, so frustrating! One of the series I’m reading was cancelled by its publisher last summer, three books in! It drives me batty because the characters I’ve come to know and love are suddenly stuck in this gigantic awful limbo where I’ll never. ever. find out their backstory or get to see their conclusions. Urrgghh!

The expansion of e-books and self-publishing options is helping this tremendously on the book side—thankfully, the author of that fave series of mine is continuing it on her own.

How about you? What rules would you champion?


  1. Yes, that's really frustrating when it happens. It's unfair to the author and the fans they gather as the series grows.

  2. I like that rule! Fortunately Joss Whedon got to finish Firefly with the movie Serenity.

  3. I like that rule!

    I thought of a rule, "Thous shalt not leave nasty reviews." :) What if people only said nice stuff even if it was critical?

  4. Yes, it is frustrating when a TV show I'm following ends abruptly because of ratings. A climax without a conclusion is very anti-climatic.

  5. Natalie - Super frustrating, but good that there are more and more options out there!

    Alex - Yes, thank goodness! ;)

    Aubrie - Ooh, good one! The old "if you can't say anything nice..." rule.

    Cynthia - Quite true.

  6. What?!?!? I have never actually heard of a publisher canceling a book series. That's insane! Thankfully we do have recourse in this day and age.

    I'm not sure I would change any publishing rules, just how people perceive the publishing world--as in Indie publishing is healthier and often funner than traditional publishing. (Because the authors don't get so beat down.) AND indie books do sometimes kick the trash out of traditionally published books. I wish we could break down the biases and rely on actual reviews.

  7. Great rule! I'm not sure what my rule would be... I have too many thoughts to pinpoint on one. :D

  8. I'm with Crystal, I've not come across a series that was cancelled midway through. But then again, I don't read a lot of series.

  9. I LOVE your rule! I mean can't they just shoot one more episode with a proper ending??? Geez! I like Aubrie's rule, too.

  10. Rajiv - Thanks.

    Crystal - Sadly, it does happen. But luckily authors have more and more ways to keep a series going.

    Jackie - Haha, that's okay.

    Lynda - It's really sad when it happens.

    Jenn - Agreed!