Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Breaking Apart Books for More Titles

   
Author Topic: Breaking Apart Books for More Titles
Owasm
Member
Member # 8501

 - posted      Profile for Owasm   Email Owasm         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is related to self-publishing. I'm going to self-publish an eleven story anthology based on a single character. I'm also currently working on publishing one of my novels.

I pull most of my personal reading off of kindle and observe authors who have pulled apart chapters from his/her books and has three or more titles for a single story line, where each volume is NOT self-contained.

This sort of thing gets an author more titles, but does the continuity get broken? If the books are at lower prices (for example, the first free, the rest 99 cents or so.) do you object to having to purchase the things?

Example: I've split my novel into six logical pieces. The whole thing is 93,000 words, but the parts range from 12,000 words to 27,000 words. I'm doing it so I have more titles out in the ether. Does it frustrate you to have to purchase all six volumes for a price that ends up being 4.95 (one free)?

Another Example: My anthology has eleven stories ranging is size from 1,000 words to 13,000 words. I intend on publishing the anthology as one volume, with a story from the anthology also available for free.

Right now, I'm leaning on serializing the novel and leaving the anthology intact. (admission: I don't buy 'singles' of short stories for my own personal reading.)

What is your opinion breaking apart books?

[This message has been edited by Owasm (edited September 19, 2011).]


Posts: 1525 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rstegman
Member
Member # 3233

 - posted      Profile for rstegman   Email rstegman         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In my opinion, if you split the story up, make sure each section is a satisfying piece that can stand alone.

I know someone who is doing this, but she is rewriting each section completely so they are stand alone stories that carry on the whole story curve of the bigger works.

In the later ones, you will know something happened before, and something will happen later, but the story will be good in and of itself.

Even if you write it with the same characters in every story, if you write it as if you were writing different characters in the same universe, it will work even better. In that case, the world will become familiar and comfortable even if the stories are read out of sequence.


Posts: 923 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
genevive42
Member
Member # 8714

 - posted      Profile for genevive42   Email genevive42         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If your whole novel is 93k, which is spot on standard novel length, then I'd say sell it as a whole. If I had to buy something that length in six parts it would annoy the crap out of me. Also, if even one section seems to be losing someone's interest, a break that forces another purchase gives the reader the opportunity to put it down and never come back. If they have it whole, they might push through that momentarily slow bit and finish the story.

And beware of the anthology. It's not that it's a bad idea, but it seems that even for more extablished authors, anthologies are not great sellers. Maybe you can compile those into mini sets of three, or something.

Whatever you do, good luck!


Posts: 1929 | Registered: Jul 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wordcaster
Member
Member # 9183

 - posted      Profile for Wordcaster   Email Wordcaster         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My humble opinion:

I don't understand the strategy of breaking it up. You make a lower commission at $0.99 and I don't think you are really creating the illusion that you have published more stories.

Serial fiction may find its place in the market, but I think for new authors, the novel will continue to rule.

I personally would be more apt to take a chance on a novel for $2.99. You get double the royalties and will actually make more money than charging $0.99 x 5. It's a lose - lose (author and reader lose more money).

I've never bought a short story on e-book. I have no intentions of doing so either (unless in a magazine or anthology). Obviously, I'm one data point, but I bet I'm representing the vast majority of readers.


Posts: 475 | Registered: Jul 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it's like the music industry...at first it was dominated by singles, then with advanced technology the album became important...only to see further technological advance in the form of downloading and the single reasserting itself.

I've only recently taken to buying any sort of e-book or e-story and it's all new to me, but...I generally prefer stuff I buy to be complete in itself, without need to buy any other part to figure out what's going on. If each part truly stands alone, it could go over...but if it doesn't, if they don't, you risk loss of goodwill on the consumer's part and failure.


Posts: 8013 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Teraen
Member
Member # 8612

 - posted      Profile for Teraen   Email Teraen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Unless you have the name recognition to pull down large fanbase followings, this story won't sell much unless people start to enjoy your writing and spread it by word of mouth/reviews/etc.

One thing I have noticed on my ereader is that anything priced $0.99 is subject to impulse buying.

With absolutely no authority or experience on this subject other than my own impulse buys, I would suggest giving away the first part for free so that people can get involved in the story, and then all the rest for 99 cents. And I don't mean different installations of 99 cents, I mean the entire novel for that. Then, each subsequent novel you can sell for an additional 99 cents until you gain a following and can start charging more. Otherwise, you run the risk of nobody reading it and becoming a fan because they won't shell out the extra money. Remember, your competition is everything else being offered for 99 cents and people would probably rather read a whole novel than installments. There is certainly no shortage of selection...


Posts: 496 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Owasm
Member
Member # 8501

 - posted      Profile for Owasm   Email Owasm         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My own personal experience is similar to Wordcasters, although I will buy a 99 cent book if it's serialized if there are more volumes available. And, as I mentioned, no short stories. I think the only way those succeed is if you have an established following.

I read a series that I liked, but each volume was 2.99 and there were six small parts. I spent nearly eighteen bucks to get a normal sized novel and I did feel ripped off.

The 99 cent-level royalty is a consideration, however.


Posts: 1525 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KayTi
Member
Member # 5137

 - posted      Profile for KayTi           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why not offer both? When I get enough of my short stories set on the moon together, I'm going to bundle them into a Luna series and offer them as a set, while still continuing to sell them as individual stories. I figure it's just part of the packaging, and will offer "one free" or some kind of bonus content with the packaged deal (to incent people to buy the higher-priced item which pays a higher royalty.)

Stackpole talks about how his "deluxe edition" of one of his ebooks outsells the standard by 5 to 1, when the only main difference is an essay or two about the creation of the novel (and a $1 price increase.) Definitely worth playing around with way you package and what you offer and what prices you charge and all that. But yeah, stay away from that 2.99 per small piece where the whole novel would cost 20 bucks or whatever, that's the kind of thing that will sour readers fast. :P


Posts: 1911 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Smaug
Member
Member # 2807

 - posted      Profile for Smaug   Email Smaug         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
KayTi, are you still publishing with Smashwords? Or are you now using another venue?
Posts: 437 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KayTi
Member
Member # 5137

 - posted      Profile for KayTi           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
@Smaug - I put my things out on smashwords but then also on Amazon and BN (even though smashwords offers distribution to those channels, I prefer managing it myself.)

Examples:

My YA (young YA, appropriate for kids aged 8-10 & up) novel Convergence on barnes and noble, amazon, and smashwords

Of note is the fact that smashwords permits you to download the ebook in whatever your preferred file format is, so you could purchase via smashwords a file that works well on kindle, then you just have to "sideload" the file onto your kindle (meaning: connect your kindle to your computer and copy the file over.) Same goes for nook, sony ereader, kobo, diesel, etc. But I do still choose to list my books individually on amazon and bn.com as a way to stake my claim to some digital shelf space on those channels.


Posts: 1911 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Smaug
Member
Member # 2807

 - posted      Profile for Smaug   Email Smaug         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just wondering. Sorry about the slight derail, Owasm. I'm just thinking of getting my feet wet in the digital publishing world and I'm not really sure how to go about it.
Posts: 437 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Owasm
Member
Member # 8501

 - posted      Profile for Owasm   Email Owasm         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Smaug,

I suggest you go to Smashwords and read their literature. You can also Dean Wesley Smith's website has some good info.


Posts: 1525 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2