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Ending the Magic ex Libris Series

I noted on Facebook that Revisionary was the final book in the Magic ex Libris series. (Unless something drastic changes, like Hollywood paying me ridiculous money and making a movie, or the books suddenly hitting the NYT list.)

This note was met with a number of very disappointed comments, which is awesome. I mean, not awesome that people are sad or disappointed. But the fact that they loved the characters and the stories and wanted them to continue. That means an awful lot.

Libriomancer Codex Born Unbound Lg Revisionary - Art by Gene Mollica

This will be the third series I’ve brought to a close, and it’s bittersweet each time. In each case, I have ideas or notes or little scraps tucked away on the hard drive for potential continuations. A fourth goblin book, a fifth princess book … and in this case, there’s definite spinoff possibilities with Revisionary.

So why end the series? Several reasons.

  1. It gives me the chance to write something new. After all, if I’d never ended the princess series, we wouldn’t have the Libriomancer books. I know some authors can jump back and forth and juggle multiple series at once, but I have a much harder time with that.
  2. The series reached a natural stopping point, one that brings closure to a lot of the things I’ve been doing throughout the books. In truth, Unbound could have been a good end point as well, but I’m happy to have been able to take that next step with Revisionary.
  3. Economics. Libriomancer was my best-selling book to date, which is awesome. Thank you to everyone who bought, read, reviewed, or otherwise helped make that book so successful. Sales of subsequent books in a series almost always drop off. The question is how much they drop off, how much new books drive sales of the earlier books in the series, and so on. And while I consider this a successful series, it wasn’t successful enough to make Magic ex Libris #5 a better bet than writing something new.

I sent a pitch to my agent over the weekend, and revised it based on his feedback earlier today. I’m hopeful DAW will like the idea. I’m also working on Project Bob, an on spec manuscript (meaning it’s not under contract) that would let me branch out in a slightly new direction. There’s at least one more idea waiting in the queue as well.

My son gets very sad and upset when a show he likes comes to an end, and I understand where he’s coming from. He’s young enough he doesn’t understand the danger of a series stretching out too long and jumping the shark, or simply losing its magic. What he does know is that he likes the show and the characters and the stories, and it sucks that there won’t be any more.

I get that. And I hope that eventually, I’ll be able to come back and play more in these worlds. Maybe via self-publishing as things go out of print. Or maybe there will be a surge of renewed interest someday, and publishers will throw obscenely large bags of money at me.

But for now, Revisionary will be the final book in the series when it comes out in February of next year. As always, my thanks to everyone who’s followed along on this journey, and I hope you’ll join me for the next one.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
martianmooncrab
Sep. 21st, 2015 07:32 pm (UTC)
*sad face* but, will look forawards to the new stuff when it comes out.. we wouldnt want you to have spare time on your hands to get yourself into some wackiness..
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)
Spare time? Anything but that! Heaven knows what mischief would result!
mt_yvr
Sep. 21st, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)
I love the books. I love them lots. (clutches)

But. I'mma be here for a long while yet. If I need to I shall camp on your lawn to get new books. So. Keep writing what you like, I'll keep buying.
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:44 pm (UTC)
If you do camp on the lawn, could you keep an eye out for the dog? She keeps getting out of the back yard. Just call her and let her back into the house when you see her.
mt_yvr
Sep. 22nd, 2015 05:18 pm (UTC)
PUPPY! YAY! ... what? This is totally turning into my win-win fantasy. :P
paragraphs
Sep. 21st, 2015 07:50 pm (UTC)
Adding to my audible list - I love completed series! And I loved the first book so will get with the program. Congratulations though on finishing! Truly that is awesome. Excited to see what is next with you.

A Fan. :)
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :-)
deborahblakehps
Sep. 21st, 2015 08:15 pm (UTC)
*sniffles* I love this series. But I get it. And I'll follow you anywhere. Unless you start writing horror, in which case you're on your own :-)
jimhines
Sep. 21st, 2015 10:22 pm (UTC)
I really don't see myself doing horror. At least not well. It's just not my thing.

And thank you :-)
deborahblakehps
Sep. 21st, 2015 10:54 pm (UTC)
Whew. Then I'm definitely reading anything you write. Romance is next, right?
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:45 pm (UTC)
Goblin romance!
deborahblakehps
Sep. 23rd, 2015 01:31 am (UTC)
Yes!!!!!
northernwalker
Sep. 21st, 2015 09:23 pm (UTC)
I have quit reading several series because they drag on and on and start running out of steam. David Weber's Honor Harrington books are a good example. I loved the early ones but burned out on them a while back. Even the offshoots got to be dull.
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:46 pm (UTC)
I've run into a few series like that too. I'm always bummed when something I love comes to an end, but I think it's worse when it drags on to the point that love changes to annoyance and disappointment.
northernwalker
Sep. 25th, 2015 06:57 am (UTC)
Something Jacqueline Carey wrote several years back on this topic really resonated with me.

"I do listen to my readers; but ultimately, I try to write in the service of the story. When readers tell me they want more of Phèdre and Joscelin, I think, "No, you don't." Because I can't possibly take the arc of their storyline to greater heights than it's gone, and while I might be able to write something that would scratch that familiar itch, in the end, it would be disappointing. When readers tell me they'd love to see Alais' story told, and find out whether or not Imriel and Sidonie ever had that horde of children, I think, "No, you don't." Because it would strain the limits of credibility to give Alais her own epic arc on the heels of so many others, and push Phèdre and Joscelin into the roles of doting grandparents. You don't want that, you really don't."

I think a short story or two would be nice, but she's right that more books would be overkill.
vitruvian23
Sep. 21st, 2015 09:46 pm (UTC)
Do you still do short stories much? I suppose you could always revisit the Libriomancer world that way as sort of an aperitif in between longer projects.
jimhines
Sep. 21st, 2015 10:22 pm (UTC)
Not much, but it's definitely a possibility. I've already got one short story out there about Nicola when she was younger. No reason I couldn't do more...
alexmegami
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:09 am (UTC)
This is exactly what I was thinking. Short stories, or maybe a novella! A collection of things in the interstitial spaces. :) If you ever felt a pressing need to dive back into it.
sylphon
Sep. 22nd, 2015 12:46 pm (UTC)
I had to go hunt for this when you mentioned it, more about Nicola? Heck yeah. But geeze, that was hard to google for. Found it in your twitter back frome arlier this year, musta missed it originally. Anyway for others that want it, the story is in 'Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories' - http://kaleidoscope.twelfthplanetpress.com/?page_id=140
wulfsdottir
Sep. 22nd, 2015 02:08 pm (UTC)
I've read my share of never-ending stories, and with all due respect to Robert Jordan, Anne McCaffrey, and David and Leigh Eddings, I include "and he knows how to end a story when it's time" as one of the selling points whenever I'm recommending someone check out your work.

And, of course, by "recommending," I mean "book-pushing like a fangirl librarian." Looking forward to the final installment of Magic ex Libris, and eager to see what your next project brings.
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :-)
deborahjross
Sep. 22nd, 2015 03:51 pm (UTC)
Writing something new is a good thing.
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
After four books, I know these characters and their world and such. Then I start something brand new, and I know NOTHING. It's disconcerting, you know?
siege
Sep. 23rd, 2015 04:08 am (UTC)
Everyone should know how to make new friends! You're just getting better at that, right? :)
trystan830
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:46 pm (UTC)
i love your Magic ex Libris series; Libriomancer was recommended to me by one of only three people who's recommendations i actually read.

and i totally get why you're only writing four books. i've finished reading two series, one was 12 and the other was13 books, and i'm in the middle of another series that will go 13 books. but i'm also reading two series that are each up to 24 books... and after a while it's like "oh, another one.... again."

i don't like when my tv shows end either, but if the story has run it's course, then it's time to end.

i've also learned that there are people who love to complain - about anything. there's a new show starting? they're complaining. it's now ending? complaining again. there's a new book series out, set in a slightly different 'verse as this one? they complain. now that boook series ending? yep, complaining again.

and i've learned that complaining doesn't get the complainer anywhere or anything, except more complaints.

that said, i LOVE the Magic ex Libris series, and thank you for writing a really awesome 'verse! (i love Smudge, can i get one for real?) and i will follow you in to pretty much all the genres out there, except maybe "general fiction." =)
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! :-)

Graphic Audio had plush Smudges when they first released the goblin books, but I don't think they're available anymore. But the Goblin Quest trilogy has plenty more Smudge, if you're interested.

That darn spider turned into such a scene-stealer...
trystan830
Sep. 22nd, 2015 04:54 pm (UTC)
you're quite welcome!

*runs off to my library site catalog to see if they have the Goblin Quest trilogy...*

edit: they have the collected volume! it's now on my list of books to request! (i'm also trystan830 over on goodreads, i have a lot on my list!)

Edited at 2015-09-22 05:00 pm (UTC)
jimhines
Sep. 22nd, 2015 05:03 pm (UTC)
I totally understand. So many books, so little time...
trystan830
Sep. 22nd, 2015 05:05 pm (UTC)
and it's not only reading.... the past 4 years i've written for NaNo as well.... i have no idea if i'll be doing that this year, i'm a huge pantser when it comes to NaNo.... ;)
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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