Thursday, June 20, 2013

I WARNED YOU. No, literally, I warn you.


Taking Back Forever released a few weeks ago. I held my breath and waited for reviews to come in. Thankfully, the reviews have been mostly good. *fist pump*

I took a chance with Taking Back Forever because I did something different. Actually, all I did was genuinely worry about my readers, put their enjoyment of the story as my top priority, and then I followed my heart.  I let the reader choose their ending. 
Huh?
Yes, I let the reader choose how they wanted Taking Back Forever to end. 

You can’t please everyone. Storytelling is way too subjective. Some readers love cliffhangers, some despise them, some just don’t care. I didn’t want readers to be upset with me for leaving them on a cliffhanger. But I also loved the cliffhanger ending. I tossed and turned about which path to choose, and then I said to myself, “Why should I have to choose? Let THEM choose.”

Toward the “end” I paused the story, wrote a letter to the reader--with a fair warning of what awaited them--and then left the decision of whether or not to continue in their hands. 

Almost every review I’ve seen mentions that they loved the option to choose. THANK GOODNESS.

“OMGGGGG. and the award for best AND worst cliffhanger goes too...
This book was wonderful (obviously) but that ending, the REAL one was awful and awesome at the same time. Where's the NEXT one already?” ~Mandi Ferguson

“The ending. You get a choice people!!!! Heaven bless Karen Hooper. If I didn't have a choice to read the ending or wait until Fighting for Infinity I might have just lost it.” ~ Inna at Inna's Little Bookshelves

Following my heart, and putting the reader first paid off. And let’s face it, even those who hate cliffhangers, but read on anyway, have no one to blame but themselves. (See how nicely that worked out? *wink wink*)

One reviewer said what I did, letting the reader choose, was “remarkable.”  I don’t know about it being remarkable, I guess I thought of it as being considerate. I dedicated Taking Back Forever to the reader because I mean it when I say my readers are everything to me. I listen to their comments and criticism and I apply what I can to future books I write so that, hopefully, I become a better writer, and they can enjoy my future books more.  I like involving my readers. I loved giving them a choice. Based on their comments, they love it too. Win win. 

This is what I love about telling stories the way I want to. I can think outside of the box. I don’t have to follow rules. I can follow my heart. And from what I’ve seen, the path with heart turns out pretty enjoyable for those who travel along with me. 

The kindrily series has a long way to go, and I’m excited to watch readers continue the journey with them. Choices, forks in the road, and all. (Hint hint.) 

Haven't started the series yet? Of course I'm going to tell you that you should, but I'm very biased. If you like reincarnation, magic, soul mates, super powers, or strong family bonds, then give it a try. You have to start with Grasping at Eternity (or you won't understand what's going on in Taking Back Forever) but then read Taking Back Forever and make your choice. To end on a cliffhanger, or not.

The choice is up to you.
Literally.
“Hooper delivers in a rather awesome way. At the very end of the novel, Hooper tells readers that she couldn’t decide where to end the novel, because some readers like cliffhangers, and some don’t, so she does something I found rather remarkable: she lets the reader choose.” ~A BookVacation 
Purchase Links:

Let's give away a signed copy to celebrate the positive reviews!  
Winner's choice of a signed paperback of Grasping at Eternity OR Taking Back Forever.
Open internationally. Contest ends Monday!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

17 comments:

  1. For me it depends on the book. I don't mind choosing an ending, BUT, I do like the author to give me a bit of direction with it. And I want to have all the information to make that decision, not be left with only what my mind can come up with. By nature I'm not particularly creative, so such endings are sometimes hard for me to accept.

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  2. I love that I have gotten to choose the ending. I have chosen to stop before the cliffhanger and pick it back up right before the next book comes out. I felt very satisfied with the ending. Thanks Karen for thinking of all of the readers!!!

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  3. I love the idea of choosing whether to end the book with a cliffhanger or not. Lots of people love cliffhangers, I know I'm one of them (even if they can be frustrating at times because they are so much of a cliffhanger) but there are others who hate them and if given the option they wouldn't read that extra bit. Plus it's pretty unique way to end a book, I can't think of any other books that allow you to choose an ending, the exception being the Choose You Own Adventure books but I don't think those count.
    I loved the cliffhanger in taking back forever. It was like adding a fast moving tank on the highway of plot twists.

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  4. Only if you write the next book really really fast.

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  5. Love this series....couldn't help myself...had to read the cliffhanger, it just sort of pulls you in. Couldn't put the book down once I started reading it...wanted it to go on forever. Can't wait for the next one to come out.

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  6. I think cliffhangers are evil but necessary! I think it makes readers just want the next book that much more. If I really loved the book, then I'm going to hate the cliffhanger, especially if I have to wait a long time for the next book. ;)

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  7. I have to say end on a cliffhanger...it makes it all worth while to wait for the next in the series ;)
    nurse_mommy(at)live(dot)com

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  8. I loved it because its how unique Karen and her writing style is. If someone else did it, it would be weird. In the following books if there's a note, I shall read nonetheless and live with the pain... Because these kind of cliffhangers are worth to read... haha :D

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  9. I think having the option is a cool idea. I'm bad with cliffhangers, because my memory is horrible, so if I don't read things back-to-back, I'll have forgotten. It's why I usually like to have the whole series in hand to read at once, but I made an exception here, 'cause I wanted to read it! I commented on GR, too, but didn't answer the question 'cause I didn't see the Rafflecopter until AFTER I had commented...

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  10. Not really - it scares me, and then you have to wait basically a year or more for the next.

    But then, it makes the next book so hard to wait for! So you'll be all like "GIVE ME NOW!" and when the books come out you're like "MUST BUY NOW!"

    :D

    Thank you for the giveaway!

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  11. Thanks for the fun post! I usually am not a fan of cliffhangers so having the choice is awesome!

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  12. I commented on the Goodreads post, but I'll comment here as well, I think that the idea of letting us choose how the story ends is actually a way to interact with the readers as well. It makes us feel like the author geniunely cares about how we're going to feel.
    I still would read the Cliffhanger, but I'm sure there are others that maybe wouldn't have.

    -Marianne Lee @Boricuan Bookworms

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  13. I can't say for sure because this is the first time I'm hearing of a book where I can choose for myself! I think it's a groundbreaking idea!

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  14. Thanks so much for all the feedback, everyone! It's always awesome to hear from readers and writers. Winner will be chosen soon!

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  15. That's so interesting! Looking forward to read it. :-)

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