The Week of No Writing

The Back Cover Blurb

Is Your Ending the End?




Is your book completed on the last page or does it continue into the next book? Either way, it’s fine. But play fair.

I once took a book out of the library late one night and was completely engrossed in it. Then I got to the end and discovered it was “to be continued.”

I wanted to scream. There was no warning, no indication that I was going to be left hanging for the entire night (until I could get to the bookstore and hope they even had volume two—yes, this was before ebooks). And it could have been worse—it could have been a new book and the wait would have been at least a year.

Don’t do that to your readers. Be upfront about what you’re doing. Does the story end inside that volume? Does it continue as a trilogy? Is it never ending?

I read a series for four books until I realized that every book ended with a cliffhanger. I stopped reading. (But then, I’m also one of those people who doesn’t care for ongoing soap operas.)

Some series wrap up one major plot while continuing smaller ones in forthcoming books. (Mine is going to do that, and the subtitle will let readers know that it won’t be the only book with this character.)

It’s also perfectly acceptable to have a series with a set of characters where each book wraps everything up neatly. All of these formats have their place.

Just let the reader know.


* Image courtesy of niamwhan at



  • chris • December 8, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    I totally agree with you. I hate it when I have to wait for the ending to a story. It is unfair to the reader to ask us to wait yes or even two to find out what happens.
    I have a series that I just love to read but each book ends on a cliffhanger and the neXT book won’t be ready for at least ayear. So by the time the sequell comes out I need to re-read the series to refresh my memory. This is frustrating to say the leazt.

    • J. M. Levinton • December 9, 2014 at 1:04 am

      I’ve had to do that too.

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