Tag: Series

Book Merch: A rant about literacy, capitalism… and foul-tasting beans

I’ve never been a big fan of book-related merchandise, either as a reader or as a writer.

Most of the ‘merch’ I have owned, I did not buy, but received as prizes or gifts from fellow indie authors – stickers, bookmarks, even a mug and coaster. In other words, items which are cute, useful, or both.

As an author, however, I have never been tempted to produce any myself, which, to be fair, is probably a genre thing as much as it is a sign of fiscal responsibility on my part. It would be rather odd, not to mention grossly offensive, for a novel criticising the government’s immigration policy to come with some sort of branded flotation device, or for a book critiquing capitalism and advertising to have a section at the back hawking, well, any sort of consumer goods.

To my recollection, I have only ever purchased two book-related products, and, as luck (or more likely, statistical odds) would have it, both were Harry Potter related.

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Why sequels are always better than the original

Like many people this week, I’ve just come back from the cinema, where I saw “Frozen II”. And it got me thinking about a theory I’ve been holding on to for a while: That sequels are pretty much always better than the originals. The vast majority of the time, when you see a film or a book that has “II” or “Part 2” or “The Reawakening” or similar appended to its title, you know you’re in for one hell of a good ride.

And as we all know, this effect is only magnified the longer a series of sequels goes on. They just keep getting better, and better, and better…

Now, I imagine some of you are gagging at this point. What do you mean?! Originals are better!

Well, yes. Most of us think this. But although most people agree that sequels are never as good as the originals in a series, they tend to obtain higher scores from audiences.

While this seems paradoxical at first, it actually makes a lot of sense. Let’s take a look at two popular series of books that were turned into movies, and see what I mean: Harry Potter and Twilight.

And then, we’ll look at two series that exhibit a very different kind of pattern – the Hunger Games and Game of Thrones – and talk about why.

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