Among the 15 nominated titles in the fantasy category of the Goodreads Choice Awards, only two titles–Boundary Crossed by Melissa F. Olson and Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman–are not part of a series, and Gaiman’s book is an anthology, not a novel.
I have no issue with authors maximizing the marketing success they have by writing a novel series. But when it comes to contests and awards–it feels like cheating when books farther back in a series are nominated. After book one, other novels in the sequence have the wind of the series’ popularity behind them. Is any book #6 in a series really comparable to a new and unique novel experience?
As a reader who is not planning to read any of the books nominated in any category unless it’s a standalone novel or the first one in the series, I think Goodreads would encourage more reading and discovery of new authors by separating the series nominees from the standalone novels. FYI: there are three series novels whose debut novels are among the nominees. These are The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, Recurve by Shannon Mayer and The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher.
Note: In the science fiction category eight of the 15 nominees are standalone or debut series novels. And in horror, 12 of 15 nominees are standalone titles.