Trilogy Compilation

I just compiled all three books of the Tormay Trilogy into one document and published it on Amazon. It’s rather lengthy. About 1,500 pages or so. Anyway, one of the main reasons I’ve done that is that, over the last year, I’ve gotten some peculiar reviews from people complaining that Book 1 is not a stand-alone story and that they wouldn’t have spent 99 cents (or gotten it for free – as it is often available for free on Amazon and perpetually available for free on Itunes, Sony, Kobo and Smashwords) if they had known that. Well, no, I’ve never claimed Book 1 was a stand-alone story and I very carefully explain that on the buy-page on Amazon, as well as in the first few pages of the book (which are available for free as a sample, or via Amazon’s Look Inside feature).

Anyway. I’m getting the odd sensation that free is not necessarily a good thing. My mother used to offer guitar lessons for free (mainly due to the fact that she is not fond of money). However, she quickly found out that the free students would not take their lessons seriously and, therefore, would not practice. This was a waste of her time and their time. When she began charging money, the students began taking their lessons seriously…

But I digress.

So, in order to satisfy people who want single, stand-alone stories, the entire thing is now available as a single, stand-alone story called A Storm in Tormay: The Complete Tormay Trilogy. It certainly won’t be available ever for free. That’s ten years of my life right there, compressed into 1,500 pages.

5 thoughts on “Trilogy Compilation”

  1. Great news! I often buy these kinds of “bundles” when I like the sample, if the price is right.

    I was one of those people who dinged you for the abrupt end to A Hawk and His Boy, and it wasn’t because I bought the book for 99 cents. I went on to read all three books and got my wife to read them as well. I do agree, however, that those who paid nothing may ironically feel less satisfied. In my experience with programming and web development, the less somebody pays you the more they complain. BTW: I absolutely love the new covers.

    There’s a different between books in a series and a serial. A serial, like Great Expectations by Charles Dickens or the recent experiment by Hugh Howey titled Wool is dribbled out over time. In a serial you’re allowed to end abruptly, to a degree. In a series, each book is supposed to stand on its own as far as the story arc goes. It only tells part of the greater series story arc, but has a self-contained arc in of itself.

    Let me preface this part by saying that, as the author, you make your decisions with or without regard to convention and that’s fine. However, when you violate convention you run the risk of not meeting the reader’s expectations and earning less than stellar reviews if they are sufficiently disconcerted. You don’t have to go the extreme like the a Harry Potter books where each book really could stand on its own about as much as any set of books in a series together. However, even the Lord of the Rings was envisioned as one book by Tolkien, yet each book in the trilogy contains its own story arc. When you read books on writing it talks to this – every book in a series needs to be somewhat self contained.

    I have recommended your series to more than just my wife the and result is always the same, even when I warn them. Every single person, when they get to the last page of AHAHB, keeps hitting the next page button and then going back because they think they passed up the end. The ending is so abrupt it doesn’t feel like a cliff hanger but rather it almost feels like a break in the middle of a sentence.

    The natural break for the first part of the story, to me, felt right in the middle of Shadow at the Gate. If the trilogy were two books, split right down the middle, then the each would feel like a complete book as part of a series. As a trilogy, I really liked the story and have told people as much. However, if you read a lot of trilogies and other series’s and study their structure you’ll find that AWAHB stands out for this reason.

    1. Nice analysis. Yeah, I certainly did violate a convention on this one. I was using Patricia McKillip’s The Riddlemaster of Hed book as my excuse. I don’t know if you’ve read that (fantastic trilogy and well worth any price), but the first book ends on a abrupt cliffhanger, leaving lots of questions and the immediate necessity of reading the second book.

      It’s a somewhat odd time to be writing books, as there seem to be quite a few traditions being turned on their head, big and small. On the distribution side, there’s the shift in the publishing model due to Amazon’s maneuvers. On the writing side, there seems to be a much more aggressive rise in the anti-hero as protagonist, a quicker cycle of niche genres that rise and fall on an undertow of copy-cats, as well as what I think are rather drastic and alarming changes in YA literature in terms of acceptable themes.

      Regardless, as you point out, certain conventions seem impervious to time.

      Thank you for recommending the books. I very much appreciate that.

  2. I’m glad I ran across this discussion. After I pub my next novel, I will finish what I guess I must call a ‘serial.’ I had been calling it a trilogy, but as Richard points out, there cannot be abrupt endings.

    You have an interesting forum. I only wish I got here more often 😉

    1. Richard makes a lot of good points, but I don’t completely agree with him. There are some solid examples of trilogies with abrupt endings. The one I like using as an example is Patricia McKillip’s Riddlemaster trilogy. The first book in that trilogy ends in the equivalent of hitting a concrete wall at 90mph. It forces you to grab for the next book and keep reading. That said, I think if you add in the immediacy of ebooks and how they’re delivered, the fact that you can locate, buy and download the next book in a series in literally less than a minute, the potential negative of an abrupt ending is fairly successfully mitigated. At any rate, it’s one way too look at it, and that’s how I’m trying to make sense of it for myself.

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