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Old 10-19-2008, 06:59 AM   #1
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How many of you are more willing to buy a book the longer it is?

It takes a lot for me to buy a book that is less than 250 pages. I love 400+ page books. Fiction, non-fiction, it doesn't matter. The way I figure I get twice the value from a $10 500-page book than from a $10 250-page book. That doesn't always hold if I like the book enough, but it is a heavy consideration. If I'm on the fence whether to buy it or not, long books tip it over to buying them.

How about you?
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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How can you tell the length of an ebook?

With me it's a bit different, it's all about the author. I rarely try new authors unless I've read really good reviews about their works. But if I like an author - then I usually buy all his works. I also don't much care if the book is short, but if it's too long I may save it for the weekends .
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:14 AM   #3
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No, no and no!

Length as nothing to do with the quality of a book!

I buy what potentially marvellous (serves - if non fiction) me, not by meter or kilo.

Last edited by DDHarriman; 10-19-2008 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dave Berk View Post
How can you tell the length of an ebook?
Amazon
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:04 AM   #5
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But inversely, are you willing to pay the same for a short book as a long book?

Last edited by JSWolf; 10-19-2008 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:12 AM   #6
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If I like the book I'm going to pay what I think is a reasonable amount for that particular book. I.e. about $10 for a regular new release ebook. So if I'm interested about the brain and exercise I'm going to get the book no matter how long and short it is, and the cost doesn't have to do with the length because I'm going to buy it either way.

Now if it's just something I'm slightly interested in and I'm on the fence about buying it, I'll cave over more quickly if it's 500 pages vs. 200 pages.
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:26 AM   #7
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To answer the original question: I do not equate length with quality (insert sexist comment here), and I have seen enough books that were simply longer than they needed to be. There is such a thing as "too much detail." So I won't be more likely to buy a book just because it's long... in fact, I would probably be less likely to buy a book that I thought was long.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell whether you are getting "a lot of story" from a long book, or just "a lot of extraneous detail," without extensive preview. With e-books, your preview options are usually more limited than with paper books (that you can scan through and through). So, when buying e-books, I don't give length much thought.
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:28 AM   #8
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Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard was way too long by at least 1/2. It could have ended in a number of places. But it just went on and on way too long.
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
To answer the original question: I do not equate length with quality (insert sexist comment here), and I have seen enough books that were simply longer than they needed to be. There is such a thing as "too much detail." So I won't be more likely to buy a book just because it's long... in fact, I would probably be less likely to buy a book that I thought was long.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell whether you are getting "a lot of story" from a long book, or just "a lot of extraneous detail," without extensive preview. With e-books, your preview options are usually more limited than with paper books (that you can scan through and through). So, when buying e-books, I don't give length much thought.
Yepp, your namesake Robert Jordan springs too mind. Wheel of Time is WAY too wordy IMHO. But I've read stories that are "short" that was simply amazing. So I don't think it's about the length of the book as much as the way it is written.

Qaulity over qauntity
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:04 AM   #10
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Well I read almost no fiction, so maybe it's different for me than if I read mostly fiction. More length means more information
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorDeb View Post
Well I read almost no fiction, so maybe it's different for me than if I read mostly fiction. More length means more information
“I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” - Mark Twain

Longer isn't always better. This is especially true in non-fiction. It takes alot of skill to present information in a short concise and understandable manner. I think sometimes the same is true for fiction. For example, while I loved the Sword of Truth novels, sometimes a character's speech will go on and on. This was especially true at the end of the last book. It went on for pages and pages of restating the same stuff. I don't think it added anything to the book.

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Old 10-19-2008, 10:47 AM   #12
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With me it's a bit different, it's all about the author. I rarely try new authors unless I've read really good reviews about their works. But if I like an author - then I usually buy all his works.
I'm similar to Dave with these qualifications: First, I can't stand short stories; don't know why but I never could bear to read a volume of short stories (too much like being back in school? ). So, no matter how much I like an author, I never buy or read the author's short story collection.

Second, as regards authors with whom I have no familiarity, price becomes the determinant. I am willing to gamble a few dollars on an unknown author if the storyline looks good or, in the case of nonfiction, the author has appropriate credentials, but I am not willing to gamble larger sums. If the book is very intriguing but pricey, I check it out first at my local bookstore. Then I may buy the pbook or the ebook, the choice being dependant on how intrigued I am by the book and whether I would want it as a permanent part of my collection.

For authors who are thinking long-term, ebooks can offer a great way to get introduced to a wider audience. Tracy Falbe, on our MR list, is a good example. I would never have considered her Rhys Chronicles books because she was an unknown author. Her giving away the first volume was a smart move as regards my reading habits. I read the free volume and bought the remaining books in the series and am now looking forward to future books from her. (BTW, if you like SF/Fan and haven't tried her Rhys Chronicles, you should. The Rhys Chronicles) Another author to whom I was introduced this way is James Galloway who writes under the name Fels. His Sennadar series is excellent (Sennadar Series) and is only available as free downloads.
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:05 AM   #13
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To me, length has no bearing on the quality of a book. It does depend on the authors skill.

As for new authors, "Alfred Hitchcocks Mystery Magazine" has been a wonderful source to find a new favorite. Many times they'll have stories I love by authors I have never heard of. So I do a search and wind up with a wonderful new source of books.

As for short stories, they are my favorite. An author has to work harder, I think, to make a short story successful. Character developement, plot......done right, and its "Bingo!"!
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Old 10-19-2008, 12:51 PM   #14
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Elegance is saying what you have to say as concise as possible.

For me books are ideas stored in form. I want to hear as many ideas as possible in this short life. So books for the sake of length are not something I look for. I want great ideas written as short a possible

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Old 10-19-2008, 01:18 PM   #15
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I believe it is a writer's job to use every word that is needed to tell the story, and not one word more or one word less. Some stories and genres work better long than short, others work better short. I don't want to pay a penny for wasted words.

When it comes to book pricing I don't necessarily think a longer book is worth more, but I do think a much shorter book is worth less. Let me explain:

A novel is anywhere from 60,000 words on up - with most modern novels running between 80-100,000 words. Some novels that double as doorstops can run up to 250,000 words, but if you get too much longer it becomes difficult to bind.

I figure any novel above about 70,000 words is worth $6-9 in paperback. However, something like a Star Trek Corps of Engineers book which is really a novella of around 20,000 words is worth less.

So long as you make what I consider "entry-level" for a novel my only concern about price is absolute, not based on cost per-page. I don't care if a novel is 250-300 pages or 600-800 pages, it's a novel and it's worth $6-9 or so in paperback. The question here is whether the story looks interesting enough to hold me from page one to page last. However, if the book's only 100-150 pages then I do start considering price more.

It's really hard to write a good novel that's that short-- you can write a good novella, but I read too fast to want to spend much money on novellas.

There's my take.
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