I read primarily paranormal romance and I love reading series romances, because quite honestly, I love when something really, really great lasts a really, really long time ... heh heh. If an author has built a truly fascinating world for her (or his) series and the characters in that world are richly developed, the magic of that author's writing lingers throughout the months between book releases. I'm still enjoying the author's work as I speculate over the overall story arc of the series and anticipate the next installment. And that next series installment might just turn out to be a short in an anthology and I know I won't want to miss a beat.
So herein lies my love-hate relationship with anthologies...
The part I love is that for $7.99 I get to sample the story telling voices of four, or if I'm really lucky--five authors. Most of the time I am buying an anthology because there is a story in it by one of my favorite series authors. But what are the chances that the other stories in the anthology are stand alone titles by those authors? Slim chances. It is more than likely that the authors' sites will state something along the lines that this story can be read alone, but is best read in order. *sigh* Did I mention I'm a stickler for reading a series in chronological order? And of course, I only want to do what's best. So now I am faced with the decision to either let the book sit on my shelf having just read at best 100 pages of it, or buy the backlists of the other authors in the anthology. Which isn't always a bad thing. For my wallet yes, but its also a great way for me to discover some new authors.
Speaking of a that $7.99 anthology sitting on my shelf that is only partially read, I'd like to mention that some anthologies sell for $14. FOURTEEN DOLLARS for four hundred pages of four short stories. Is it me, or is that a bit excessive? I have bought them before. I paid $14 for the WILD THING anthology last July so that I could read Meljean Brook's contribution, "Paradise," book 3 of her Guardians series. I also more recently bought Enchanted Seasons for Nalini Singh's short, "Beat of Temptation". Both anthologies, that I spent a total of $28 on, sit on my shelf all unread except for Meljean's and Nalini's stories, respectively. *sigh* I will probably go back and read the others some day, but I really don't understand why the books had to be listed at $14. :(
I realize that my personal love-hate relationship with anthologies is truly governed by my obsessive need to read an author's COMPLETE series IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER and by the expense it ends up incurring when I then explore the other authors' series. I just can't keep myself from buying them, and I still haven't decided if I love them or hate them. Either way, I seem to be the exact market publishers are targeting, don't you think?
Ummm... having said all of that, here are two anthologies that are on my current wish list:
FIRST BLOOD Featuring stories from Meljean Brook, Susan Sizemore, Erin McCarthy, and Chris Marie Green.
$7.99 Berkely Sensation
Release date August 08.
AND NEWS OF THIS ONE HOT OFF THE PRESS:
An anthology that I have barely any information on, but know that I want right now:
Title TBA Featuring stories by Jeaniene Frost, Melissa Marr, Vicki Pettersson, Kim Harrison, Jocelynn Drake.
Adult Urban Fantasy Anthology
Price TBA Eos line of HarperCollins, Tentative release date May 09.
What a fantastic author line up! Jeaniene Frost's contribution will be a short story from Bones' POV in New Orleans before he meets Cat. Did I mention that I want this book like right now? RIGHT. NOW. :)
So, how do you feel about anthologies? Do you buy them without hesitation even if you are initially only interested in one author's story? Or, if applicable, do you just skip that story in the author's series? Have you ever discovered a new favorite author from reading an anthology? And finally, does the anthology's list price play a role in your decision to buy the book?