I’m about 40 or so pages from the end, and I’m getting tired so I check to see how many pages to the end of the chapter. And God Damn it! The last 20 pages are an interview with the author and the beginning of the next book. Plus, 13 pages are an Epilogue.
Now, okay, the Epilogue is part of the story, but there were only three pages left in the story proper. I’m holding 40 pages in my hand! I’m expecting a plot twist. I’m expecting additional fine wit. More interesting character moments. More well-built world. Instead of finishing the book with a desire to go buy the next (and I have a Barns & Noble gift card right here), instead of propelling me out the door, I feel gypped. I want my 40 pages!
You know what else is a stupid hold over from an unwilling-to-change publishing industry? Adding on the first chapter of the next book.
I am all for bonus content. I love it. But it does not belong here. Where does bonus book content belong? In an eBook on a clickable link. In an app. As a separate track in an audio book. As a downloadable pdf. On a website.
To be clear, all artists and companies should strive to provide more than what is expected. When I buy a book, however, I expect that the last 40 pages will be story. Perhaps I shouldn’t.