32 tales or one Novel?

Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 at 13:41

One of my new beta readers feels that “Ironmaster & Other Tales” is too big and intimidating for most Kindle readers (who like a book they can read in a couple of sittings). I’ve looked at the word count of what I’ve edited so far (and the bits I haven’t yet) and it’s around 230,000 (or 230k) words (or so and still falling as I edit although that is a Word Wordcount) but still a novel starts at 40k words and often is less than 100k these days – this seems massive – that said while Ironmaster is only a little bigger than any one “Lord of the Rings” volume it is about half the length of the trilogy as a whole and smaller than most volumes of the “River of Time” series – at least according to this.

Ironmaster and other tales spine text

Ironmaster may be too big even for a Steampunk epic….

It has been suggested that I release each chapter (or maybe a few bundled together) as individual books on Amazon as well as the huge book (at what would work out as a discounted price…).
Kindle Illustration for Regina Venefica : A Queen Goes To War,

Realising each Tale separately does have some merit, but brings up problems…

I’m not sure, the 30 odd stories/novelettes/and novellas all weave one epic tale and it would be tricky to separate them in anyway that didn’t spoil the experience… Also what would I call the individual books (if they aren’t the individual stories which are already named and have black and white covers prepared) and the Series as a whole?

Most kindle readers read a lot more short kindle books than large ones and I agree that I could be excluding a lot of potential revenue and exposure by not publishing them separately.

Release them individually on Kindle select and briefly have a give away, getting each book in turn into the top-sellers and potentially dominate the Steampunk/Fantasy/Sci-fi charts for a while could be great recognition and may push latecomers into buying the “box set” later – alternately I might just annoy a lot of people very quickly by releasing varying length stories with a similar price tag, and I’m sure infamy is not the same as famous…

Any thoughts from anyone else – Beta reader or fellow author or just reader, what do you expect for 99 cents? A novella? A short story? Or a couple of shorts and a novella? And what is a reasonable price for 230,000 words of interconnected Novellas, Novelettes and shorts?

I will still have the Omnibus Paperback and a kindle ebook Omnibus that is priced based on Lulu.com’s price restrictions – although if I go the Kindle select route that will come some time later as Amazon hate an Indie Author to compete with themselves and demand 90 days of exclusivity.

Well, any thoughts?

2 thoughts on “32 tales or one Novel?”

  1. Well you know what I’m like with ebooks! 😉

    A couple of thoughts spring to mind. .. releasing lots of shorts and then releasing the final complete collection reminds me of Guns’ n’ Roses who effectively did the same thing with their album Appetite for Destruction and annoyed a lot of their fan base as the album didn’t offer anything more than the singles they’d already released.

    Generally the feeling seems to be that the collection should be greater than the sum of the parts etc… like Paradox Wars had bonus stories between the (separate) books.

    One other thing – and I don’t know how Iron Master is – if there’s no conclusion at the end of a smaller collection then some may feel it’s a marketing gimmick to get them to purchase the next collection and feel a bit aggravated…

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

    1. CJ Moseley says:

      I sort of agree with everything you’ve said, but I can’t help feeling that TV shows get away with episodic download sales, and so do comic books before the inevitable box-set or collected graphic novel.
      Stories used to serialised in magazines, using a very similar model, and I think it might work. At least I don’t think it can hurt too much with my current sales as low as they are.
      As for making each collection or story feel complete, don’t forget the Paradox War was originally written as a single novel that I split up, and I hope each part, while a part, gives some sense of completion before the next novel (or short), so I think I might be able to craft something satisfying — but a part of something larger.

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