I'm an established full-time author - willing to answer questions if you have them

question

#301

The Barefoot Healer. I meant like taking all books that’s in the series and placing it as one book. Like my series (I’m hoping to get attention for it by agents) the books are too short as they’re under 100K words, so I was thinking because I have the book “It” and I read most of it. Stephen Kings book was an epic novel, so what should I do? because like I don’t wanna add more to each book just to make it possible for me to get an agents attention.


#302

I wanted to offer the whole series for less than the cost of buying all the books individually. Amazon now do this automatically if the metadata is right, but back then they didn’t. I added some bonus material that’s not available elsewhere. Each book is self-contained, and (in theory) you can read any of them without having to read the others.

Being self-published, I don’t have to care about a book being too long or too short - I just set a higher or lower price. (FWIW, all my novels are around 100K to 120K, with one novella of 30K and a children’s book of 18K.)

My understanding is that publishers’ requirements for the length of a book aren’t as rigid as they once were, mainly thanks to the growth of ebook sales. Readers have a maximum price they’re willing to pay for a book, and everybody in the chain between the writer and the reader has a minimum profit margin they’re willing to accept. If the book has to be printed on paper and sent to a bookshop, that imposes a limit on how much the publisher can spend on printing and shipping it, which in turn imposes a limit on how many pages the book can have.

If a book is substantially shorter than average, readers expect to pay less for it, but some of the costs are the same as an average book, or they don’t become proportionately smaller than the average. So as the price drops, it becomes increasingly difficult for the publisher to make a profit.

It’s not impossible for a book that’s much longer or shorter than average to get published, but it’s one more obstacle on an already difficult path. You can make a book longer by adding subplots and extra characters with their own arcs, but it’s difficult and time-consuming to do this well if you haven’t done it before.

I wouldn’t recommend sticking books together and calling it one longer book if you need something long enough to attract an agent’s or publisher’s attention. Publishers want the first book in a series to be self-contained, such that a reader can enjoy it on its own without having to read the rest of the series if they don’t want to. (See, for example, the first Harry Potter book, or Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.) So if your too-short book 1 is self-contained, sticking your too-short book 2 on the end of it will probably result in a longer book that isn’t self-contained (unless you do a lot of rewriting to make it a single story).

What I think I would do in your position is to figure out what’s the shortest length that you’re realistically going to be allowed. If book 1 is within 10% or 20% of that, you can probably extend it to the minimum without it being too obvious. Otherwise you’re probably better off writing a different book that’s longer to begin with. As you do more writing, you’ll get an understanding for how long a particular plot or idea is likely to be when written, or whether a particular plot or idea is likely to have enough complexity to sustain a story for the required length.


#303

I never read those, though yes, I understand the rationale. I believe in creating hooks in the existing pub. Hooks NOT meaning leaving plotlines dangling. Current plot needs to land properly. However, answering the story question of the first book in a series should open up more questions. And THOSE can dangle. They make people curious. Hopefully. That’s more complicated, but to my mind more professional than giving a sneak preview. Ifind that a bit - cheating. But maybe I’m too old school


#304

I guess I’m old school as well. As a reader I think that if I like the book then I will already be planning on moving to the next. I don’t need a preview of the next to be interested.


#305

That depends on the length of the book / price of the book. My epic fantasy sells for 4.99 and is 135k words and I make almost the same if someone buys it or reads it in its entirety.


#306

thank you


#307

Yeah, didn’t think of that. I don’t write Fantasy or SciFi so my novels are a lot shorter: 75K–85K words.


#308

My one ongoing book is an LGBT+ New Adult Romance. I’m not done with it as I’m putting it off since I’m pretty busy with my one series (Portal Fantasy)


#309

Oh, what is Portal Fantasy?


#310

What I had looked into it, it’s pretty much seeing the characters going into different worlds with magick, witches, vampires, etc. I’m still editing book 1 but once I’m done, I plan on going to book 2 and getting that to bring it into AT LEAST 40-50K words then just so on and so forth.


#311

It’s where someone is transported from our reality to a secondary fantasy world, usually via a doorway, portal, or some other device. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is an example of portal fantasy.


#312

I highly recommend it…and I have done it for a number of my books (both self and traditional). Sometimes I’ve had to put something OTHER than the first chapter because first chapters sometimes resolve issues I left at the end of the previous book, but having “something else” to whet your appetite is certainly woth doing.

And yes, we do it in both the print and the ebooks.


#313

The good thing, is if you are the type of person who DOESN’T like them, you can just skip them. But for the people who do like them, they get a bonus.


#314

I believe they do. And you have to be a little careful. If in KU if the “preview” is too long, it can be seen as a problem by Amazon.


#315

Most agents have a “sweet spot” when it comes to novels, and yeah, if they are too short they won’t be seen as “marketable” - but you can’t just “smoosh” several smaller works together to get the count up…well, you can, but I don’t recommend it. You might have to rethink where/how you move from one book to another. The important thing is the “problem” that is presented in the start of the book is wrapped up by it’s end. You probably don’t want a series of “problem/resolution” back to back if they don’t make a SINGLE cohesive story.


#316

It’s possible to do both. Have a “hook” at the end of a book – and also provide a “taste” of the next work.


#317

Yep, size and price of the book can change that equation.


#318

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe is a good example of Portal fantasy. The characters leave our world and enter another one. Same thing with a Wrinkle in Time.


#320

Yeah, I have the full series plot finished but I’m scared that I might end up screwed. :frowning:


#321

As a creative person you are never screwed. You can always edit and restructure.