Bonus Content - Is It Worth It?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Paper Bindings - Bonus Content

Everyone Loves Bonus Content

The little bit extra that features your favorite character, or maybe shows a hint about what could have happened if the cards were slightly different. These little extras drive readers into a frenzy causing them to squeal like rapid fangirls devouring an epic read.

Am I right?

Not this reader, not all the time anyways.

Maybe I'm the black sheep of the blogger community or maybe there are dozens of others like me hiding the shadows. But I do not thrive on bonus content.

Don't get me wrong, if done well, I love it when authors give us readers something extra. Especially when it focuses on my favorite character, regardless of whether it is a chapter from an alternate view point or something prior/after established events. Even though I do not NEED it, I WANT it. And because the author did such an awesome job with it, it feels like I was reading the same story I fell in love with from the beginning. (Of course the author is going to do such an awesome job with it, otherwise, why am I reading it?)

But scenes where the story goes off a completely different path than in the final version? Chapters that never make it into the final product?

No, thank you. I'll pass.

Now, I am not saying I'll never read them, because I do spontaneous things sometimes and am unpredictable. Hey, putting milk in my tea was risky at the time. But now I'm more than likely to skip over alternate scenes and deleted chapters.


Let Me Tell You A Story:

Picture this, a young fan of a certain nameless series was scrolling through her goodreads feed. There she was, minding her own business, looking for books to read, when all of a sudden she saw it. A link about free bonus for readers. Quickly she clicked on the link and began reading. It seemed this author was planning on posting the entirety of her books' alternate middle online for all to see.

Now the girl was not the biggest fan of alternate threads and chapters to begin with. But this one involved a book boyfriend, and a fascinating female lead. Did she want to read this one? Did she want just a smidgen more of these characters who's future only held possible novellas and cross series cameos? Heck yes she did.

She not-so-but-oh-so patiently waited for several weeks, reading each installment as it became available.

If I could do it over again, I would never have read it.

Sure the author posted a warning that this was an ALTERNATE middle if a certain additional snag occurred and the main baddie launched one more diabolical deed towards our heroes. I thought I could handle it, but boy was I wrong.


The chapters hit one of my "drop the book and run away" triggers. I knew how a character acted (man-slut) when we first met him back in book one, and I "knew" what the plotline (amnesia) would do to their relationship. What I wasn't expecting was to really see it happen and to truly feel the heroine's pain when his actions came to light.

That is what I get for reading good authors, I suppose.

I know the guy did not remember certain things and continued life as he would have before, and I know that this was all changed for the final version. (Thank you whoever made that call.) Those pages were few, and nothing compared to the final page count in the series, but they completely changed how I view the hero. I do not like him the way I loved him throughout each book. I do not ship the couple the way I had, because even though she forgives, how can she forget?

I certainly cannot. And it's not even final material!

Am I jaded because of one bad experience? Maybe. Will I never again read another alternate chapter? I would not go that far. But I will be a little more particular about the subject matter.

So Carrie, What Sort Of Bonus Content Do You Like?

Well, my friends, I love:
  • Character Q&A - Who doesn't want to ask their favorite characters (or least favorite) questions? Can I pick your brains please?
  • Playlists - In my world, life is a musical. Somewhere up there is the poor angel who's duty involves changing music to match life's every changing pace. So I love listening to the same songs the authors used while writing as background noise while I'm reading.
  • Novellas - When they are actual short stories and not just half a chapter leading up to book one, novellas are something I enjoy reading.

What about you guys? Any bonus content you love/hate?


  1. I can relate! Usually bonus material just adds to the awesomeness for me, but after reading Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Wedding (not bonus material, but a novella), it ruined what was a special moment for me in Beautiful Disaster. Sometimes it happens. Unfortunately you don't know if it was an awesome addition or a disaster until after you read it.

    1. I had that happen to me when I read book two of a series I originally believed to be a standalone. Events happened in that book that completely ruined the couple's bonding in the first book.

      You are right, you never know until you take the chance. Which is why it's wonderful all these people come together in the book blogging world, it's always nice to get a heads up either way.

      Thank you for stopping by.


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