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Old 05-21-2013, 09:09 AM   #1
BeccaPrice
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include in other collection?

I have a collection of 4 fairy stories that I'm going to be publishing as Dragons and Dreams: bedtime stories. Each story is about 5 pages long, and the mood arc goes from silly (A Princess for Tea) to more serious and lyrical (Child of Promise).

I'm currently working on another story (Heart of Rock), that will have 3 parts. Each part is a complete story in itself, but it takes all 3 to get the whole story. At the current rate of writing, it looks like it may be a total of 8 pages or so for all 3 parts, unless I can figure out what to add to lengthen it.

My question is: do I include the 3 parts of Heart of Rock in with the other stories? if so, where do I put it? If I put it at the end, after Child of Promise, it rather ruins the emotional arc of the collection. If I put it in between the silly stories and the more serious ones, it works with the emotional arc, but logically it seems to fall apart because you have the 3 sections, and then going on to another story entirely.

Heart of Rock was originally intended to be a booklet of its own, but unless I can think of some way to lengthen in, there just doesn't seem enough there there to warrant being its own document.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
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Do you have any budget for artwork, or maybe a talented friend who'd like to go in it with you? Or maybe you have the talent yourself? Some simple line drawings can be effective even on monochrome e-readers. Examples: Alice in Wonderland springs to mind as one I've re-read on my e-reader not long ago, and even an adult book: "Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)" by Jerome K. Jerome - see the copy here on MobileRead, it is very well formatted. Another example I've read recently, that falls somewhere in between in age groups, is "One on a Time" by A.A.Milne - I got a copy off Project Gutenberg.

Since it's a children's book a larger font is also appropriate - and given what you suggested might the full length of Heart of Rock (10,000 words wasn't it?) I would have thought it would probably stretch out to well over 8 pages. (I wrote a short story of 4300 words recently that went 8 sides of A4.)

Aside from all that, no I don't see a problem with a book being a collection of short stories, though you may have to take extra care to make sure the three-part Heart of Rock really does look like related parts rather than separate stories (you don't want people reading them out of order).
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:45 AM   #3
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The main collection is 9000 words, 4 stories each about 2250 words long.

Heart of Rock may be 4000 words, if I'm lucky. The original intent was to be 10,000 words, but it's coming out much shorter. When I try to add to it, I feel like I'm padding rather than adding value.

I have no budget for artwork. I'm hoping to get spot artwork for the original 4 stories, but the artist is doing it for free, and so far hasn't felt inspired to get to work yet. I have one artist friend who is doing the cover art for Dragons and Dreams for free, but he's very busy and other than seeing the rough sketch for the artwork, I haven't heard from him in weeks.

Most of the artists I've talked with seem to want $300+ per drawing, and I just can't afford that. I'm not expecting this thing to sell thousands of copies - I feel I'll be doing well to sell tens of copies! I just don't know what kind of market there is for old-time fairy stories.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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I assume the length issue is all about wanting to produce a print edition - since ebooks shouldn't have such restriction.

Perhaps you could break the emotional arc issue by arranging and marketing it as two books in a single binding. Pay for a mono-chrome cover image (preferably a line drawing), inserted as a page on its own, to separate Heart of Rock from the earlier stories - if the facing page is blank it should work okay. Then arrange the actual cover so that it has a double title: "Dragons and Dreams: bedtime stories" at the top, "and Heart of Rock: a story of ???" at the the bottom (I think a relevant subtitle might help the balance). Yes there is going to be some additional cost, but limited to the two cover images it might be feasible?
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
The main collection is 9000 words, 4 stories each about 2250 words long.

Heart of Rock may be 4000 words, if I'm lucky. The original intent was to be 10,000 words, but it's coming out much shorter. When I try to add to it, I feel like I'm padding rather than adding value.
Quote:
I'm not expecting this thing to sell thousands of copies - I feel I'll be doing well to sell tens of copies! I just don't know what kind of market there is for old-time fairy stories.
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Then arrange the actual cover so that it has a double title: "Dragons and Dreams: bedtime stories" at the top, "and Heart of Rock: a story of ???" at the the bottom (I think a relevant subtitle might help the balance).
One of the things I've enjoyed about reading the collection to my daughter at bedtime is that each story is an appropriately sized, self-contained chunk. A longer piece inserted in the middle would break that sense, but if properly set apart as gmw suggests, I think it would be a great way to add something to the volume, and would give a clearly defined choice of what kind of reading to take on.

If you feel you are padding, you probably are, so go with your instincts. Even the short stories in the volume I've seen come out a page or two shorter when I recap them in my mind, but, heck, I realize you need SOME space for character development and world building!

If you can find a talented student artist to barter with, perhaps, some appropriate illustrations would add a lot I think. For these kind of stories, it's target audience would really respond to some pictures that fit the style, I think.

And if you do have any resources to invest, invest in marketing and promotion. If my daughter is any indication, and I think she is, I can virtually assure you it will sell lots more then tens of copies if kids and parents can be made aware of it!

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Old 05-21-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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ApK: so you've read more than just A Princess for Tea? which ones so far? I'm gald your daughter likes them (can you tell I'm starving for feedback?)

If I get Heart of Rock finished (if ever!) would you be willing to read that to your daughter and tell me how she likes that one too?
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Old 05-21-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
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ApK: so you've read more than just A Princess for Tea? which ones so far? I'm gald your daughter likes them (can you tell I'm starving for feedback?)
Check your PM....

Quote:
If I get Heart of Rock finished (if ever!) would you be willing to read that to your daughter and tell me how she likes that one too?
Heck yeah!
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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So I would put it in the collection and set it apart as GMW said. Do not, under any circumstances, just pad it for the sake of padding. If it is a short, let it be so.

If you wanted to make it longer could you write more before the current version starts? Meaning - spend more time on setup? I do not know the story, but I bet it has characters in it, and they had to grow up as some point. Is any of that relevant?
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:38 PM   #9
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The problem with putting Heart of Rock (with 3 parts to it) in the collection is that it probably should go last, so people don't get confused with each part being it's own story but connected to the whole. But Child of Promise thematically *has* to go last. ApK, after you've read Child of Promise, let me know whether you agree that it has to be the last story in the collection.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #10
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Put a divider in maybe? Like a page that says "Bonus Materiel" between Child and Heart?
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:57 PM   #11
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that's actually a good idea. Thanks!
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