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Old 10-16-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
jbcohen
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Omnibus novels

I would like to see what forum members opinions are of omnibus novels are. Sometimes I read Warhammer 40K novels and the company frequently publishes omnibus novels which include three novels in a series. The omnibus novels are great values dollars wise however they have some drawbacks, I got the omnibus book that I have before I discovered ebooks, my omnibus novel is in printed form. The main problem that I can see is that the shear size of the book make it rather difficult to cart around with me and the company (blacklibrary) does not publish omnibus novels electronically.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:45 AM   #2
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Omnibusses are mostly a marketting move.
They make sense in a lot of cases--when a "trilogy" is really a single large novel broken up into pieces, for example. In other cases, they bring nothing that simple bundling couldn't achieve.
A classic example of a case where an omnibus edition is more than just marketting is Roger Zelazny's original Amber series, which is really a single novel but got broken into novelette-sized portions or publication. With most volumes, Zelazny didn't even bother with cliffhangers or fake ending; he (or the editor) just reached a good break point and... stopped. The next volume picked up right after that with no recap or anything.
More commonly, the fake ending and recaps do exist and they do get in the way of the narrative even in an omnibus, which is why most are just marketting.
They usually make for good pricing but, in the ebook era, bundling or just plain discounting might be a wiser choice for all parties, unless the omnibus actually includes new material, like a framing sequence.
The omnibus edition of THREE TO DORSAI comes to mind there: it bundles three volumes of the DORSAI saga within a framing sequence that happens during a latter volume. But those kind of moves are rare; usually publishers just cut-n-paste two or three texts into one file and send it out under a new title as a "new" book. A good way to move backlist titles without explicit discounting or undercutting the "Perceived value" of books.
Again, mostly marketting.
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:00 AM   #3
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I find it kind of annoying when there's a paper omnibus that's better value than the ebooks. I've had exactly the same problems with Joe Haldeman's Forever War series and Ngaio Marsh's first three Inspector Alleyn mysteries. In both cases I went for the paper version and, for the Haldeman, kind of wish I hadn't because of its unweildiness. It might not be so bad with the Marsh, since the books are shorter, but I haven't started it yet so can't say.

I just wish they'd make the omnibuses available electronically.
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Old 10-16-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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I used to like them, but now I find them too big in the paper format. If there were released in the ebook format, great. It does get confusing though when you are trying to follow a series and suddenly another book with a different name shows up that includes 2-3 of the existing one.

In the past I have purchases an omnibus edition without realizing I already had all the books.

Is the plural of omnibus omnibi? Like syllabus/syllabi?
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Old 10-16-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
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Is the plural of omnibus omnibi? Like syllabus/syllabi?
No; absolutely not. "Omnibus" in Latin is an adverb (meaning "for everybody"), not a noun, and as such has no plural. (Just as English adverbs such as "quickly" don't have a plural.)
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Omnibuses.

It's treated as a noun in English, and therefore gets an English plural, I reckon.

Although I'd rather not have a bulky paper book, I think I'd also prefer to get the volumes separately in ebook form. I'd like to be able to buy them as a group, but have them delivered as separate items, rather like the Baen Bundles. It's easier to see where you are in the book with a single volume, and on the Kindle, you only get one level of chapter markings, which in an omnibus means you get three book-sized "chapters".

(Four of my last five books have been from omnibuses (<-- look!), two paper and two electronic. All of them could have been better to use.)
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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Ummmm..........

The last omnibus I got was a number 69, and went to Weston Super Mare ....


But ...... pre my digi-days, I bought the Harry Bosch novels, in about 3/4 omnibus versions, saved a stack of money, but ... they ... are ... VAST !!

But cheap
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:16 AM   #8
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I like them when they're from publishers whose separate novels aren't always easy to find in stores i.e. Abaddon Books and Angry Robot.
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:19 AM   #9
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Omnibuses.

It's treated as a noun in English, and therefore gets an English plural, I reckon.
I agree. English word, English plural.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:55 AM   #10
David Munch
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Latest omnibus was Wool. When they stories are so short and with *that* uninteresting covers, I prefer an omnibus. Otherwise, if I like a series, I prefer singular books just for the covers, eBooks or paper.
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