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J.N. Duncan Guest Post & Giveaway: Deadworld Value-Added Content

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The Vengeful Dead by J.N. DuncanThank you, VBC for having me here today and help support the release of my new book, The Vengeful Dead, second in my Deadworld series. It’s out now, with the third book, The Lingering Dead due out in April. For those of you who have checked out Deadworld (VBC review), I hope you enjoy book two, and for those who have not, I hope you give my gritty, supernatural-crime-romance series a try. Anyway, enough of the promo stuff. On to more entertaining things.

For those of you who shop, okay, pretty much everyone here, you are likely familiar with the add-on. It’s that little extra bit that sales people try to get you to buy to go along with whatever purchase you happen to be making. The incentive here is that because you are getting the first item, the add-on will feel like something to make that first purchase even better. The really good add-on is something you end up feeling you can’t do without. Been there, done that, yes?

As you may have guessed in my bringing up this topic, publishing is not without the add-on as well. You will find short stories, novellas, encyclopedias, cookbooks, and so on that are related to a central book or series. I know several authors who have done this, taking side characters that readers may have spoken up about, and given them their own little bonus material. For popular series, my impression of these add-ons is that readers do indeed enjoy them and buy them.

I will not be an exception to this rule. I had a number of readers who read Deadworld complain about the fact that the vampire hero’s backstory (Nick Anderson) was not given enough air time. It was not fleshed out to their satisfaction, and to be honest, they were right. It was almost told in passing, with little detail, which I did, for the most part, to conserve word count. It was not that I didn’t find this aspect of the story interesting, because it is. Nick’s backstory as an Old West sheriff, who encounters the villainess vampire Cornelius Drake and ends up in a tragic showdown, is the basis upon which Deadworld came into being. It’s a bloody, sad, and gruesome beginning to my story that deserved to be told, and I failed to do so.

So, in the name of added content, I’ll be writing up a short story that details Nick’s beginning as a vampire and how Drake became his arch enemy. It will serve the purpose of addressing an expressed desire of the readers as well as hopefully providing some incentive for new readers to pick up the series. Yay for value-added content!

So, given I know many of you have likely picked up some of this added on content for stories you have read, I’d like to hear from you about some of the good (or bad) content you’ve come across that has been in addition to books you have read. Do you find them worthwhile? Do they inspire to you buy more of the author’s books? Have you checked out some of this added content before actually buying a new series? I’m curious what your experiences are.

And to provide a bit of incentive, I’ll give away a signed copy of The Vengeful Dead (and Deadworld if you have not read that one), and even a signed flat for the upcoming third book, due out in April. Happy reading/writing everyone! Thank you for the feedback.

Giveaway rules: Leave a comment answering Jim’s questions above. One winner will be randomly selected. Make sure to leave your comment before 11:59 p.m. CST Nov. 1, 2011. Open to U.S. and Canada addresses only.

33 Responses to “J.N. Duncan Guest Post & Giveaway: Deadworld Value-Added Content”

  1. LadyVampire says:

    Personally I like added content. It allows the author to give us insight into the characters of a series that we may have missed before hand or maybe information that wasn’t revealed before. Anthologies or extra stories can also give a happily ever after to a side character that readers liked in a series, especially if a series focuses on the main hero and heroine in a book series primarily. Side stories actually make me enjoy the book series I am reading more. And if I am reading a story in say an anthology and haven’t read that author’s book series before, it does encourage me to want to find and read the series. I can’t say I ever read a side story I didn’t enjoy. Congratulations on your latest release of The Vengeful Dead!

  2. I agree with LadyVampire. I like added content in the form of short stories and novellas, particularly when they provide back story or focus on secondary characters. And I’ve discovered new authors in anthologies through stories and novellas, so they’ve clearly been effective.

    I do have to say that I’m not a fan of recipes/cookbooks, but I think that’s because I hate cooking.

  3. ABarker says:

    o you find them worthwhile? Do they inspire to you buy more of the author’s books? Have you checked out some of this added content before actually buying a new series?

    I loved added content. There are some series where the added content has added so much to the story. While usually the books do a fantastic job of telling stories and giving information on the characters, there are times when you can’t help but wonder a little more about the side details and maybe what happened to the characters. Usually the side content doesn’t impact my buying of books, but I do find it generally increases my enjoyment of the series. Usually I wait on the added content till I read the book. This is usually because I want to read the full storyline before I read the additions. I have done this once where I read the added content before the book and I was so lost I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did when I read it again after reading the book.

  4. Kristina P says:

    I would have to agree that added content is a good thing. I like to have a little information on the various characters that i am reading about. i have quit reading numerous books because the back story in them just isnt written well enough that i could understand where the character is coming from. i think that if everyone wrote some sort of extra content wether it be a short story or an entire novel on the history and past it would help the future novels to flow instead of leaving me scratching my head wondering how the heck did so-and-so get that power, or where did that come from.?
    i have only ran into a few novels that i have not finished for this reason, but still a few is just too many for me.
    It usually does not affect wether I buy a book or not but it does make the story a little more interesting to me because I know more details about the characters etc.

  5. Rain Maiden Jen says:

    I enjoy added content. I really like when an author will write out a scene in someone else’s POV. It helps me enjoy the characters more. One thing I’m not big on are short stories that are shared with other authors in a book. I would prefer to buy a single story via ebook. Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Donna S says:

    Most of the time I like the added content. Depending on whether is it a prequel or a filler in between books sets when I will read it. I like to know what happens next to the characters or in the story so the added content often lets me know more and take care of my curiosity.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  7. Na S. says:

    Added content is always a treat for me. It’s another opporunity to learn more about the characters and stories and may answer some unresolved questions. I like content that is relevant to the story though, if it’s not it won’t make me think badly of it but I won’t feel compelled to read it.

  8. Alaina says:

    i really like added content.. i love finding out snippits about the backstory and side characters.. more then i would find out by just reading the story.. ive seen a couple that focus on specific holidays (jennifer estep has one for halloween, a couple others have a story about having everybody for christmas) and i like those just as much.. find it shows more of the characters when theyre not solving murders or whatever!

    alainala AT hotmail DOT ca

    (and these books look really good!!)

  9. Barbara Elness says:

    I do like added content, it adds to the interest in the books and it inspires me to buy the books if I haven’t already. I feel that short stories posted on an author’s webpage allow the reader to get a feel for the author’s work before investing in a series, so I think it’s a good thing.
    Jeri Smith Ready has five tie-in short stories for her WVMP series and they added quite a lot to my enjoyment of the series. I did check them out before I bought the series.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  10. Jennelle S says:

    If its from an author that I know and like, I always want to pick up stories that include characters that I know, or worlds that I know. Since these are often in books with stories by other authors, once in a while, I will read those as well, and if the story sounds interesting, I may look into their books. A couple of times it has confused me, like when I picked up the first book in Patricia Brigg’s Alpha & Omega series, because as it made no sense when I began to read it, only to realize that it had actually begun in an anthology. On the other end, I read an anthology of my mom’s once, and there was a really weird story in it, that I only later realized was from Narcissus in Chains by Luarell K Hamilton.
    Added content always makes me happy, though.
    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

  11. Teri C says:

    Short stories themselves I find do not always lead me to buy a series, but once into a series if I love it I will find myself scavenging around for more on the characters I love.
    I am new to the series, and I really love the sound of it. I was looking for something new to sink my teeth into as a read so this sounds fabulous. Thank you for coming on and introducing me to it!

    terilhack at yahoo dot com

  12. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I like added content to. It gives you more into the book. Alot of times I buy for the cover and what the books are about and the author. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this series. Tore923@aol.com

  13. Vivien says:

    I enjoy some secondary content. Especially if it’s more writing. Then it’s the best! I love reading excerpts.

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  14. Kaya H says:

    I love them all. Some times I get a free short story on the kindle and discover a series.
    That was a great interview, not I want to check this series out.

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  15. Terri Matlock says:

    it just depends for me. sometimes i enjoy reading extra content depending on what it is.

    thank you for the giveaway.

    Terri M
    oklahomamommy0306@gmail.com

  16. Denise Z says:

    Yes I have read several of the “value added content shorts (VACS)” I have read these from series that I have been longtime favorites e.g. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Micah, which was a taste of a central character who was always somewhat of a mystery in the Anita Blake series. Frankly I loved the short and it is still one of my favorite quick short reads that I will revisit. I have also read VACS from series that I have not yet read, especially having a limited budget and wanting to see if the series sounds like my cup of tea and is generally in the cost range my budget saves for special series that I will buy regardless of the cost, which unfortunately have become few since so many of the publishers have now released kindle editions at the same or even greater cost than the beautiful hardback books. I think a VACS is an excellent marketing tool that allows readers like me who devour series with joy to get a taste of the yet unexplored, as well as fleshing out those characters we really want to know more about; much as you have done here with Nick Anderson’s backstory. I have not yet read Deadworld, although I have it in my TBR, and The Vengeful Dead is on my wishlist. I will be looking forward to Nick’s story and will read Deadworld with the thought in mind that there is more of Nick to come. Thanks for the thought provoking post today :)

    dz59001[at]gmail[dot]com

  17. kayla merritt says:

    I love added content. Cassandra Clare does a lot of it for The Mortal Instruments series. I love learning more things about my favorite characters, and added content makes it easier to do that. I have never heard of this series, but it looks amazing. I can’t wait to start reading it.

    kaylalovesandrew09@yahoo.com

  18. I like added content, but only because it adds more insight to the characters. When I read… I seem to connect with the characters in a lot of ways… not that my life mirrors them but in a way a writers does. And if I happen to love the series, it helps me not let go of the characters to read more about them thats not in the exact series, exspecially when the series are over. Also, some added content, like little “Novelas” or “slices of life” (how J.R Ward puts it) help understand whats going on that you cant find out in the “Regular” books. And yes, there are a few times between the releases of the main books that I have read some added content.
    Sometimes, I imagine different senarios for my favorite characters and books. It only happens when Im in love with the series, and it helps my “creativeness” flow. Added Content helps with that.
    I havent read any of the books in this series, but I would like to, and Im pretty sure I would like to add it to the various books I have in my room.

  19. cindyg says:

    Sometimes added content works and sometimes it doesn’t. It really depends on how indepth the author chooses to go. Sometimes the short stories don’t give enough info. Other times it helps the reader learn more about characters and situations that can’t seem to get covered any other way.

  20. ML says:

    I do find added content worthwhile. I get most of mine through anthologies where a character or backstory is highlighted in a way that isn’t covered in the book series itself. I will also visit author websites where they sometimes disclose additional information about characters, etc.

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  21. Personally I live for prequels, interval novellas, and added bonus material on websites and afterthought short stories. Sometimes I read them just to get a feel for the author’s writing style if I have never read a novel from them. It gives us a little bit of spice, a dash of sugar and a whole lot of insight. It could be the piece of the puzzle you are scratching your head about.

    I haven’t read any of your books, but am writing them on my wish list! Thanks Vampire Book Club for always leading the way to more and more authors on my TBR list! Have a great Superday (as I have dubbed Mondays)

    Gladys Gonzales Atwell
    http://www.facebook.com/ggonzalesatwell
    Gladys@sealionbooks.com

  22. Tammy VanScoy says:

    I really like added content. You get to really know the characters and may look at them in a different light than you did in a previous book. I like multi-faceted characters.

  23. Sariah says:

    I do enjoy added content. I think it gives more info on certain characters that may not have been the main character in the book. I have not read this series yet but I am putting on my TBR wishlist. Christmas is just around the corner ;) Thanks for the chance.

  24. Lorian Jones says:

    pleaz pick the deaf gurl i really want 2 read

  25. DeeAnn says:

    I enjoy reading the added content stories. For the most part I read it for series that I’m already interested in. There have been a few times where short stories have caused me start reading a new series. A lot of times the short stories are only really good if you’re already familiar with the author’s work. I really depends upon the author.

  26. Joy S says:

    I like added content. It always makes me want to read more and more and sometimes all I have time to read is a short story here and there. Some of the added content shorts are just perfect!

  27. Frances says:

    I love added content. It has introduced me to so many new Series…and anytime I can find a fun new series I am one happy lil lady. Im sure my husband HATES add ons because they result in my personal library at home growing…lol…but hey that just means I get my own lil add on in the end…like more book shelves….”Oh Hunny! I got a project for you.”

  28. Renée says:

    Any bonus material to help the fans understand or see what the author sees in their characters the better.

  29. I totally agree about side story/ short stories/ bonus material is the best kind!! For me as a fellow book lover and reviewier it makes the story even more endering to me especially if there is a person in the storyline that readers are a fan of and would make the story even more wonderful. Authors like Julie Kagawa Iron Key series is for one another is Jennifer Esteps Elemental Assassin Series is another I can go on and on with authors names.. But those that have done it makes enjoy the book even more and also I have learned that sometime those side stories help me to understand something I may have missed and now understand!!
    Vampgrl74(at)gmail(dot)com

  30. Kelly Mills says:

    I like added content. For me it adds to the overall enjoyment and understanding of characters and story lines.

  31. Andra says:

    Off the top of my head, Larissa Ione and Nalini Singh do great added content – short stories which are just checking-in with the characters. A day in the life, if you will. I don’t know if added content would make me buy a series because I think they work much better for fans of the novel(s) who know who’s who and care about the characters, but if I really liked the writing of added content I would be inclinded to buy.

    I haven’t seen any added content that wasn’t writing, though. Does jewerly with giveaways count?

    andra(dot)always(at)gmail(dot)com

  32. Kristen Heyl says:

    I like added content especially if it answers some questions that I have had about the series. It definitely makes me want to read more of that author’s books because it does show that they listen to what their readers are asking.

    sweetreaderma@yahoo.com

  33. RachaelM says:

    I love added content. I think it is great when an author that I read adds stories about some of the other characters in their books. It gives the reader a chance to know other characters better and enjoy being in the world they created more. I have read some added content before buying a series and have found that this helps me to see if it is something I would enjoy reading before buying.

    Thanks for the giveaway. I have not started the Deadworld series yet but it is on my wish list, I would love to win both books.

    rachaelmccully(at)yahoo(dot)com

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