I am currently reading the second last book out of the Pretty Little Liars book series and it has got me thinking about when a book series should end. The Pretty Little Liars series was supposed to end at book 8 but has since gone on for another eight books. The last four books seem to be very drawn out so far. It feels like Sara Shepard has begun running out of things for the last four books (I am reading the last few books to find out who A is and how they stop A). It reminds me of the last few Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood books – those felt like Charlaine Harris was running out of story but kept going because of the TV show. Those last few books weren’t as strong as the rest of the books in the series.
So when would be a great time to finish a book series?
I feel it could be when there’s enough strong story lines to finish the series without making it drawn out with thin story lines. For example, the Pretty Little Liars series should have finished at book 8 but could have just finished at book 12 without having another four books afterwards.
But how does a writer/author of a series know when it’s a good time to finish a series? How do they know when enough is enough? I know that there are fans out there who would love to know more and have more books written about their favourite characters. Or that there’s also a TV show going on as well and they want to keep up with it, but is that really necessary? If the series is still strong, does it really need more books after the last published book?
It just seems so much easier saying a book series needs to finish as an outsider compared to a writer who has invested so much time and effort into writing, editing and publishing the books.