The fourth book in THE OSSERIAN SAGA

I’ve been getting more and more emails from people asking when the next book is coming out (from as far away as Norway), and they’ve been coming with greater frequency, so I figured it’s time I responded publicly rather than one by one.

Unfortunately, the answer to “When will the fourth book be out?” is “Never.” The series is dead.

I had originally planned for four books and submitted a proposal for four books to my publisher, but I was offered a three book contract, which is  the standard when it comes to a new fantasy series. I was fine with that, hoping that the first books sold well enough that I could negotiate a big fat advance for the fourth.

And things looked good at first. The Amber Wizard sold very well right out of the gate, landing at number seven on the Borders/Waldenbooks (hey, remember those places?) paperback bestseller list. I was thrilled. It seemed my writing career was off to a good start.

But I couldn’t get any of the larger review sites or publications to review the book, which meant I got little visibility. I did receive a lot of feedback from readers through email or on Facebook, but it seemed like the readers who liked it contacted me directly, while those who hated it were the ones who posted reviews on places like Amazon and Goodreads. And I’m perfectly fine with people not liking what I write–there’s no such thing as a universally loved book. But for whatever reason, the people who did like it didn’t post online reviews.

The Words of Making sold in okay numbers, but not nearly as well as The Amber Wizard had. For whatever reason, the series wasn’t gaining any traction. The Commanding Stone came out right after the big crash of 2009 and disappeared without a trace. The sales were just terrible. No one was interested in the series anymore, which was a shame, because I thought the books got better as they went along. Certainly there are more things I would go back and change in the first one than the other two.

The original ending of The Commanding Stone was this crazy cliffhanger, but my editor made it clear I had to change it since a fourth book wasn’t guaranteed. It took a lot of rewriting to make it work, and one of the storylines–concerning the rise of the Adversary–wasn’t resolved, and now never will be. I’m sorry about that.

The dragon storyline wasn’t supposed to be resolved in book three. I had planned to carry that over to The Path of Ashes (that was the tentative title for book four, which I had also at one time called The Fell King). I think I wrapped things up as best as I could given the circumstances.

At some point I’ll post the original ending to The Commanding Stone to give readers an idea of how much I had to change, and what my initial plans were.

So that’s where things stand with the Saga. Again, I’m sorry I won’t be able to finish the story, but sales simply weren’t there to justify another book.

  • Kathleen

    Hey, I bought all three!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! I’m working on some YA stuff now that I think you’ll like (if I can ever get it out there …)

  • Discadae

    David, you could still finish the series and just release it as a free ebook or an online book downloadable from your site with a paypal link saying “donate if you like.” A band(forgot the name) did this and while they didn’t make record sales, they were still recompensed.

    Please?
    Drew

  • http://twitter.com/david_a_forbes David Forbes

    Hi Drew. I’ve thought about that, but honestly, right now I’m just not interested in writing it. They are all big, complicated books, and I’m not ready to go back. Considering how poorly sales were for the last book, even if everyone who bought The Commanding Stone donated, I still probably wouldn’t make any money.

    Never say never, but it won’t be anytime soon. I will post the original ending in a week or so. If I ever do write the fourth book, that will be how it begins (with some revisions, of course.)

  • Dace

    Looks like I can put this serie right up with The Riftwar Legacy series (by Raymond E. Feist).
    He also made a 4 part series but never writing the 4th book. That one due to not owning the rights since they made a dos-game of it.
    Rather annoying how I keep picking series that will never be complete.

    Maybe I’ll buy all 3 your books again some day, cause mine are well traveled. I read on the train mostely and tape is holding it all together atm.

    Ahh well maybe I’ll get to read the true ending of the Osserian Saga one day…

    Greetings from the Netherlands, Europe.

  • davidforbes

    Hi Dace,

    Yes, unfortunately there are a lot of series that aren’t getting their intended endings. Publishing is becoming even more cutthroat as publishers focus more and more on mega-sellers at the expense of the mid-list. Tobias Buckell and Harry Connolly are two others who’s series got whacked mid-stream.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the three that made it, at least!

    Best,

    David

  • Eli

    Your books are really good! But I still hope that the series will be completed.
    Please don’t get discouraged with the negative feedback you received. I’ll wait for your next novels.

  • David Forbes

    Thank you! I try not to get discouraged, but it’s difficult at times. This industry is really hard.

  • Juleken65

    Eell thats the craziest thing iv ever herd. It sounds to me like the book was almost done several months ago from wat i read on line but now we will never get to no wat happened to any of them Android i disagree w/ur publisher, i n fact have read everything terry brooks did Android robert jordons’ wheel of time,ur books are to me better than jordons last 6 Android thry stack up very well against brooks so im confused.

  • http://www.facebook.com/robert.siemon1 Robert Siemon

    Well David tbh this sucks, I was a really big fan of Amber Wizard. And I really liked The Words of Making. I have been waiting the next book in your series. I bought all 3 of your releases. Sorry that I didn’t write any reviews for you thou. But I felt like the direction of Commanding Stone, was just off, but I did kinda enjoy the way that it ended. I always thought it to be a little off that u didn’t continue in the direction of discovering new magic (like book 1 started with). I loved reading all 3 books. But I really wanted to see where u’d take the story, what was the deal with the sword, and how was magic supposed to return, or be eradicated from the world altogether. Well I for one would drop $10 to u for a copy of the 4th book. Really if this series followed the first 2 books more, and was allowed to continue I could see it rivaling Terry Goodkind. (lets be honest A memory of light was a let down)

  • garrett

    Wow dont think ive ever been as dissapointed in a book series/author as I am now. Granted I understand your plight. Still after absolutely loving your series and then finding out that not only do you not have a contract to write another but you dont have the interest in finishing something people have put their time, money, and emotions into…. Its kind of sad. If I had the money I would solely fund this book just to see how the story is supposed to turn out but sadly I dont. Maybe someday you will write it not for the money but to finish the story the way you intended it.

  • Junior

    I must say I am very sad to hear this. You write with such vivid imagery. The words of making is one of my all time favourite books. You are right up there along with Raymond Feist as my favourite author. I want to wish you the best of luck in your continuing career. I hope that you are able to to pick your head up and continuing gifting the world with your words!!!! Much respect!!!!

  • davidforbes

    Thank you, I’m glad you liked my work. It’s a shame but it’s also not something I can control, unfortunately. If you’re interested in other books of mine, I just released a young adult novel called EVERWHEN. You can find links for it on the main page of the site, or at any major online bookseller. And it’s a stand-alone novel, so you won’t have to worry about missing anything!

    Again, thank you for writing. – David

  • Nick

    Hi david.

    Years and years ago i bought a book called The Amber Wizard, put it aside, and forgot about it.. A few years later, i came across a book called The Words of Making, bought it.. And again put it aside; probably because in was reading other stuff. Then in 2010 incame across a book called The Commanding Stone! And again i bought it, but this time i remembered buying other books of the author David Forbes, went through my collection of books, found them, and read them all within a week! Loved them! Still do.. Read them again this week, went on a search for the 4th, and was sorely dissapointed to find out it will never be published.. What a shame to let one of the most surprising wizards of this decade fade away into nothingness.

    Maybe a kickstarter project could provide you with a sollution to allot of dissapointed readers? I’ve seen other authors use kickstarter with succes!!

    Greetjngs from the Netherlands!

    Nick.

  • davidforbes

    Hi Nick,

    Yes, I’m sorry that the series didn’t get to conclude the way I wanted it to. I am very glad you enjoyed what I was able to get out there, so there’s some satisfaction in that!

    Kickstarter is not going to work for me. I simply don’t have enough of a fan base to make it feasible. The sales trajectory from the first book to the third was an incredible nose dive, which is a shame because I thought the books got better as the series progressed. But I just shed readers left and right. And it’s been so many years now that I’m really not in the mindset to go back to that particular well. I was pretty bitter about it for a while, but that’s passed and I’ve simply moved on to other things.

    So I do sincerely apologize, but this will more than likely remain one of those “unfinished” series.

    David

    P.S. I love that I have readers in the Netherlands! :-)

  • Dan Verley

    Have you considered bucking the trend and self publishing as an ebook? There are a lot of people who want to see the true conclusion to the series. I feel like if you’re truly passionate about it, the you will find away to finish the story for the sake of your true fans.

  • davidforbes

    Hi Dan. I’m glad you like the series, but I think it’s well and truly dead. I’ve published a few ebooks on my own (unrelated to the Osserian books), and they have totally tanked. I have one more completed that I am going to put out there, but if it doesn’t sell I am unfortunately going to call it a day with my writing career. I just haven’t been able to gain an audience.

  • AR

    Are we sure a kick starter wouldn’t work here I absolutely loved the series and would be willing to pledge quite a bit to get this series completed. What are we looking at ballpark to self publish 50,000 or so? I think your fan base is much larger than you think. This is one of my favorite series (albeit one without an ending). Not enough good books about magic out there. Took me a while to come to this site and realize a fourth book was never coming… I dutifully checked Barnes and Noble once a month since reading the commanding stone hoping to see it lol.

  • davidforbes

    Hi there. Again, I’m glad you enjoyed the book but the sales trajectory of the series makes it pretty clear there aren’t enough people to make a Kickstarter work. The sales for book one were really good; book two took a pretty hard nose dive; and almost no one bought the third one. Which is a shame because I think it’s the best in some ways despite a forced ending I didn’t really want. I’m pushing 50 and have three separate businesses going with my wife so I have more or less hung up the writing career since it never really panned out.

    My apologies for the delay in replying as well.