I have been re-reading a great romance series, Elizabeth Lowell's "Only" books. I just finished Reno's story and am about to start my favorite book in that series, Whip's story -- "Only Love." (Who doesn't enjoy reading about a yondering man finding that home is a person rather than a place?) If you haven't read the series, you really, really should. I'm not in any way being critical of Ms. Lowell when I say -- the end of the book I just read annoyed the heck out of me. Why? Because "the end" of the book wasn't the end, not at all.
Three chapters of a completely unrelated and much newer book were crammed in after "the end." That doesn't bother me in a paper book, but it bothers the quackers out of me in an e-book. I can close a paper book, but I like to flip to the end of an e-book. I could go to the digital controls and do it, but I like to flip until I get to 100%. Is that insane of me? Okay, we won't debate the generally tenuous state of my mental health. Even if it IS insane of me, I still find it annoying.
It reminds me of the end caps at the supermarket where they place all the stuff they're trying to force you to buy. Even if a product I like is there, I won't buy it. If I'm shopping for cereal and a brand I like is on the end cap, I'll stroll down there and buy another one. Pushing products on people sometimes has the opposite result. It can drive buyers away.
If you're going to put a promo at the end of an e-book, it should be for a related book. Wal-mart doesn't put clothes or shoes at the end of the canned vegetable aisle, but publishers think they know better. They don't. They really don't. I love Ms. Lowell's "Only" series, but I'm not a fan of the one being pushed at the end of the e-book I just read. Now, I'll make a point not to read it.
If publishers want to promote an entirely different book at the end of an e-book, then have the author write a note to her readers explaining why she thinks readers of this book would enjoy the other series. At the end of the note, the author should put a link to her webpage where readers can find out more about the other series and click buy links. That promotes the other work without annoying readers.
When a reader reaches "the end," she believes that she has experienced the "happily ever after" and her journey is over. At the end of a trip, no one wants to take a long detour. A brief note from the author thanking the reader her for her time and suggesting another book could be forgiven. Cramming a three chapter end cap after "the end" is an imposition that goes a step too far. After "the end" e-books should allow readers the time and space to reflect on the journey just taken. If they've enjoyed the trip the readers are likely to seek out the author's other work.
"The end" of an e-book should be the end of an e-book.