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Bloody Bookaholic's Commandment:

Thou Shall Read Till Thy Eyes Bleed

Saturday 7 January 2012

Question of the Day: What's With the .5 Book Trend?

Lately I have seen so many 3.5, 5.5, 1.5, or just plain .5 books. They don't even called them novellas any more, it's just a small book between books. It's the new trend. I think the first of saw of these was Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa. This was the 1.5 book between The iron King and The Iron Daughter, but that one I could completely understand. It made sense, it showed the journey back to the Winter Court and it wasn't put on The Iron Daughter cause then the later book would have been too freaking long.

But right now it just seems like something to do, not a necessary thing. Everybody is doing it because, well, everybody is doing it. Some examples of the .5 books:

Never to Sleep (Soul Screamers, #5.5)

Fallen in Love (Fallen, #3.5)

Dream Dark

There are many, many more where these came from.
My question is,
Do you think these books are necessary?

PS;Remember to enter my Good Bye 2011 contest! The Link is on the top, but you can also just click here and it will take you to the post. I have about 40 books to give away, who wants them?!


  1. I don't mind them as long as their purpose is to reveal part of story without making the book before/after too long but otherwise it would be just pointless.

  2. I was talking about this to someone else today!

    Personally I don't read these books at all, I tried one and was just a bit disappointed in it.

    I do wonder if these are more advertising than anything else- to keep the authors name around in between books.

  3. Well I don't think there's more of them, its just that instead of authors posting these stories for free on their site (like Jennifer Estep did with the Elemental assassin stories or Tor.com has related short stories in many author universes) Publishers see it as a potential to get more money from the fans or free publicity (when they offer them for free).

    It also seems like in some cases the 'prequels' to debut novels or 'in between' stories between novels are more like cut/deleted scenes polished up.

    I know in the case of Rachel Vincent, Jennifer Estep, Maria V. Snyder, Ilona Andrews and a few others I follow, they use them as ways to flesh out side characters (or give a glimpse of new characters who will be important), explain events from a different point of view or as a way to give details about an event from the past that would bog down the storyline in novel or the main character from the books wouldn't know.

    I think some are necessary (the Vincent ones are ALWAYS useful, as are the Estep ones, a recent Eloisa James SS I read also helped to clear up some questions I had about a character), but I think some are just...blatant promotional tools. I didn't feel like the Tempest SS Prequel added anything to my enjoyment of the novel for instance.

  4. I know Janet Evanovich has been doing this with her Stephanie Plum novels - the "between the numbers" holiday ones are always catagorized as a .5 - and those are full-length.

  5. I like the .5 trend. We can learn things that were missing from the series. I also like missing scenes that you can sometimes find on authors web sites. Must add that I'm looking forward to Stephen King's addition to the Dark Tower series.
    "The Wind Through the Keyhole" It is not truly a .5 but is set between two existing stories and is a full novel.

  6. If they are not needed to understand the main story then no I don't think they are necessary but fans love getting extra little stories don't they so it doesn't really bother me that they are told they also have great covers.

  7. I really don't mind it. I just wish they were more known, because I'd like to actually read them in order...and I easily skip over them!

  8. Used to be the .5 books appeared in anthologies and you had to search them out. Jim Butcher and Charlaine Harris stories are perfect examples of this . The newer trend makes it easier.

  9. I do like it most of the time. However, there have been some series that have 3 or more of these, and that's very frustrating. Especially at $1.99 each.

  10. Interesting question. I kind of like these .5 novellas (or whatever they're calling them) because it feels like getting a special Behind the Scenes look into these worlds and characters we've already grown to love.


  11. Sometimes they are necessary..Okay . Fine.I admit it.
    If my favorite author(like Richelle Mead or Rachel Vincent) writes a .5 something on my favorite series(like VA or Shifters) there is nothing you can do or say that it will convince me that the ".5" was a bad idea.
    There you go .I said it.Self centered or stupid ,maybe, but it is true.
    It's necessity depends on my interest in it.

  12. I think they're great for the big fans of the books that want to know every single detail but I don't know if I'd read them.

  13. I think they're either a) irrelevant unneeded story that the author wanted to tell, but didn't have enough of to write a full length book or b) very important story that may come up later, but again there wasn't enough to make a full book. Personally i don't see why they don't just make it the start of the next novel, and make the next one longer.

  14. I think it depends on the story itself. I've read some .5 that fill in the necessary gaps but others that are completely irrelevant.

  15. I absolutely LOVE the .5 books. Although I don't like paying $$$$ cause I don't think a glorified CHAPTER is really worth it. I like when the author/pub makes it free as a sort of gift or bonus to the readers. I was pretty irritated when I read the .5 for Wither. It was 1.99 for a VERY VERY short story. The majority was a 5 chapter excerpt of Wither (which I've obviously read) and a preview of Fever (which I didn't want to read because I didn't want to start it until I had the whole book). But other than that, I've really enjoyed the whole .5 trend!

  16. I don't read them. Especially when you have to pay for them. I think an excerpt is a good promotional tool though.

  17. I guess I don't really mind them. If I had my druthers I'd rather see a longer book instead of a .5

  18. I think they are funny because more often than not they don't add anything important. Or even help you fell like it was time well spent. I did like the Iron Fey novellas. But very few others have really made me super happy.

  19. You're right, I saw a lot of these 'novellas' around. I don't think they are really necessary. But, it's kind of a win-win situation. The author gets some more money and the readers get one more enjoyable book to read.

  20. They're not neccessary exactly, but I like them annyway, I think it's great that we can explore the story more wihtout having a whole novel to get through. But I think it's stupid to call them ".5" They should be called novellas.

  21. They're not always necessary, but they provide something for die-hard fans of a series to briefly appease themselves with until the next installment in the series is ready for release. Sometime readers are jut happy to re-visit that world and those characters for a while so that they don't feel so disconnected from the series when the next book comes out.



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