Lately I've been considering the idea of doing some sort of hardback edition at the end of each trilogy. I probably will, but I haven't decided yet. Part of what is keeping from going with it is something that many authors (myself included) have to deal with every time they sit down and write: character continuity. Is this how the character would say this, or do that? Would s/he think that? For a lot of authors this is a HUGE problem. Not because they aren't great writers, but because there seems to be a desire to keep our main characters static. We like seeing our characters fight the good fight, but we really don't want them to grow from it...not much anyways.
I do realize that is a very general statement and just about everyone reading this is thinking "nu uh, I like my character's to grow!" On some level I'm sure you believe that, but then look at what is popular on television and tell me that's true. That being said, we DO like to see characters grow and change over time, but it has to be handled correctly and in the right circumstances.
For example, take something like Farscape (if you don't know, it's a sci-fi show from a while back) where the characters basically didn't know each other, didn't like each other, but because of better options were stuck together for years. By the end of the show these character's had been through so much hell that there wasn't even a question anymore of how they would work as a team and each other's roles in, for instance, a gun fight. They went from a bunch of individuals putting up with eachother to a full on team. The character's didnt simply trust eachother, they knew eachother. Most shows don't do that.
My issue is that i KNOW there's a lack of cohesion in my main characters. They say one thing, and think another in a very different manner. M starts off as..well...a giant a-hole, by the end of book 2 he's a man out of time and a little on-edge and in book 3 he's a very different person still. I wanted these characters to be as real as possible and so far, I think I've done that. The issue is: what happens when you read the books in order, one right after the other? Will the character development come off as development, or will it come off as a jumbled, kerfuffle of a mess?