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Old 04-22-2011, 01:20 PM   #1
chrisanthropic
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Release as a Novel or two Novellas?

My wife is in the process of editing her third book and it belongs to a larger series.

The first two books are self-contained novellas that lay the groundwork for the entire series while the third one could be framed and released as either a single Novel or two-three separate Novellas.

The perspective changes part way through and she's unsure if that change should mark the end of that novella or just the end of the chapter.

I can see benefits to both. I'm personally more likely to give an unknown author a chance on shorter works since there is less of a financial and time obligation.

I know it's really up to the author/publisher, but I'm curious what you as readers and authors have to say.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:19 PM   #2
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Well it depends on how different the first part and the second part of the book is. If it works towards the same climax/ending but uses a diff POV character, I say keep it as one novel. If each part has sort of a self-contained ending, then a novella would be a good idea. It depends on how the story is currently structured or how your wife wants it to be structured. I'd say think about length suits the story best, rather than business interests.

I don't think there's any hard and fast rules about what form works best for indies: novellas vs. novels, series vs. stand alones... it all depends. Most people are used to purchasing full length novels, so there isn't really a disadvantage to selling a full length novel.

A series (esp w/ the first book priced cheap) could bring people in, but if they didn't like the first volume but they would have liked the second volume, they wouldn't find out about it and it would be a lost sale.

I've had experiences with many novels where the first 1/3rd or 1/2nd I wasn't particularly impressed with, but I kept on reading it because I just like finishing books. Then when I was about midway, the pacing improved and I got more into the book.

So again, there's no hard and fast rules. It just depends on what length/form would make the story stronger.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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Do both, it will give you more virtual shelf space. But make it clear in the compilation that they don't need to buy the single ones too.
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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@bashfulbanshee - the POV changes but both are working towards the same climax. Thieves at Heart (#1) introduces the main characters and ends with them separated. Self-Made Scoundrel (#2) tells how they met and parts of #1 from a different character's perspective. This third one switches between the two main protagonists and tells their stories as they are eventually reunited.

Also, I agree with your comment on pricing. In fact, she's released the first book for free. The second is only $.99. If she continues to release them as novellas then the price will likely stay at $.99 but would increase for a larger compilation.

@mr ploppy - We've considered that too. She's working with an artist right now and we will probably release an illustrated compilation (~1 picture / chapter) of the entire series.

Thanks to both of you for your input.

Last edited by chrisanthropic; 04-23-2011 at 04:23 PM. Reason: infostuffs
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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These sound interesting. Where can I find your wife's books?
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Old 04-23-2011, 05:08 PM   #6
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@Miss Understood

Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.
Free On Her website (book 1) or a chapter a week of book 2 (blog).
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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@Miss Understood

Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble.
Free On Her website (book 1) or a chapter a week of book 2 (blog).
Don't Amazon moan at you for having it free somewhere else?
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:05 PM   #8
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Don't Amazon moan at you for having it free somewhere else?
They haven't said anything about it. Each site uses their own ISDN (etc) to identify it so I'm not sure how they could really do anything about it. Technically each one is it's own edition (mobi, epub, pdf, etc).

The smashwords one uses that blasted meatgrinder of course.
I format the epub/B&N manually (html) before running them through a few custom settings in Calibre to convert it to epub.
The Amazon ones get the same treatment as above but ends with mobi obviously.

Is there something somewhere in the Amazon TOS that says not to do that? Crap I'ma go dig that out and reread it now.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:16 PM   #9
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Haven't they changed their T&Cs so that your Amazon price is supposed to be no more than the cheapest price that you sell elsewhere?


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They haven't said anything about it. Each site uses their own ISDN (etc) to identify it so I'm not sure how they could really do anything about it. Technically each one is it's own edition (mobi, epub, pdf, etc).

The smashwords one uses that blasted meatgrinder of course.
I format the epub/B&N manually (html) before running them through a few custom settings in Calibre to convert it to epub.
The Amazon ones get the same treatment as above but ends with mobi obviously.

Is there something somewhere in the Amazon TOS that says not to do that? Crap I'ma go dig that out and reread it now.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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I'm checking on that now, but they also don't let you set any price less than $.99
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:46 PM   #11
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Sorry, that's right for new items, I was talking as a third party seller using Amazon not as a seller that supplies Amazon for them to sell...


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I'm checking on that now, but they also don't let you set any price less than $.99
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:53 PM   #12
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I can see benefits to both. I'm personally more likely to give an unknown author a chance on shorter works since there is less of a financial and time obligation.
Personally, I do not buy novellas or short stories. I much prefer to buy a full-length novel. As for money and time, without knowing what she would charge for the novel, I can't say whether price would be much of a decision factor.

As for the time obligation, my feeling is this: If the novel is well-written, I am willing to spend the time to read it, whether it is 200 pages or 500 pages. OTOH, if the manuscript is not well written and well edited, it doesn't matter whether it is 25 pages or 1500 pages, I won't get past the first few pages before trashing it.

Last edited by rhadin; 04-25-2011 at 09:23 AM. Reason: correct a misspelling
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:56 PM   #13
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Sorry, that's right for new items, I was talking as a third party seller using Amazon not as a seller that supplies Amazon for them to sell...
It's the same rule for ebooks too. If someone tells them it's cheaper somewhere else they will price match it without warning you. Kobo tends to heavily discount stuff they get from Smashwords, then Amazon matches that price and the writer percentage drops from 70% to 30%. I'm not sure what they do if something is free elsewhere. Some people say they make it free on Amazon, others have said they just remove it from Amazon completely.
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:41 PM   #14
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Huh, good to know. I assume it's gone unnoticed as of yet because a) she's sold so few books, or b) it's not listed as "free" on Smashwords, it's "by donation".
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:54 PM   #15
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Personally, I do not buy novellas or short stories. I much prefer to buy a full-length novel. As for money and time, without knowing what she would charge for the novel, I can't say whether price would be much of a decision factor.

As for the time obligation, my feeling is this: If the novel is well-written, I am will8ing to spend the time to read it, whether it is 200 pages or 500 pages. OTOH, if the manuscript is not well written and well edited, it doesn't matter whether it is 25 pages or 1500 pages, I won't get past the first few pages before trashing it.
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