publishing wakes you up, too

This is a sequel of sorts to a post called "The Deadline Wakes You Up."

I thought of this because I've decided to start preparing the Jan Sleet mystery stories for print publication. So, I've been reviewing them with that in mind, and suddenly I'm finding a lot of little things that need fixing (commas, paragraphing, a missing quotation mark, etc.).

These stories have been gone over many times, especially the early ones (which are the first ones I'm reading), and I thought they were pretty tight. But, faced with the idea of seeing them on paper, suddenly I saw that they needed some little improvements.

Which leads me to a question. There are thirteen stories (one may get cut, that isn't clear yet). Probably at least 300 pages in all. Maybe even 350 (they are mystery "stories," but some are really novellas). Would you be more likely to check out a big book with all the stories, or a slimmer volume with some of them (with a second volume coming later with the rest)? Or would you read them in e-book form, in which case I assume it wouldn't really matter?

This is not going to happen next week. Even apart from the small edits, two of the stories need major rewrites. But, as I work on them, it will make a difference how they will divide up (since, in addition to being stories, they are also chapters of a longer narrative).

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6 Responses to publishing wakes you up, too

  1. Jo Eberhardt says:

    I’m not yet on board with the ebook revolution. (I know, I’m living in the dark ages.) But in terms of print books, it would depend on why you were splitting into two volumes.

    If the split was just becaue of book size, I’d rather having a single volume. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that I’m not big on reading long books, but books of short stories (or novellas) are differnt, because there are logical end points throughout.

    If the split strengthens the work, ie there are different themes in each volume, then I’d be happier to have them split.

    Not sure how helpful that is, but there you go.

  2. I actually prefer ebooks. They’re so much handier and the books are generally cheaper.

    For paperback or hardback publication though, I’d just do one single volume. 300-350 pages isn’t really all that long, and since it’s divided up into stories, it shouldn’t really matter all that much anyway, in my opinion.

    But I’m also in agreement with Jo. If splitting it strengthens it, that’s what I’d do.

  3. Jo and Emerald: Thanks for the feedback. If only I was sure it would only be 350 pages. I’m a bit worried that it will be quite a bit more. Well, I’ll have to get the word counts and see for sure.

    There’s no advantage, in terms of the story, to dividing it up. I’m thinking that one volume is the way to go, but I’ll try to get a clearer picture of how many words it will be.

    I think I’ll do a real e-book this time, too. But first I have to do that rewriting (though I just thought of a good hook for the one story that’s been a real problem…)

  4. Even if it’s longer than 350 pages, I still don’t think it should be that much of a problem. There’s nothing wrong with long books. (For some people at least, including me.) 😉

    Even as an ebook, as long as it’s formatted properly and people can jump to whatever story that have stopped on or want to read, then length wouldn’t be a problem there either.

    And, glad you finally thought of that hook that’s been bothering you. I love it when something falls in place, and good luck with the rewrites!

    • Well, I did the math, and at the same font size as A Sane Woman it would be 415 pages or so. Which is fine. One point smaller and it would be 375 pages.

      I wanted to have that figured out before I started rewrites, since it would have affected how characters were presented in the second volume, since I wouldn’t have wanted to assume people would read the books in order.

      Everything being in one volume is definitely easier for me. 🙂

  5. Then that sounds like a wonderful plan! 🙂

    And 415 pages isn’t bad at all. I could read that easily, and if you’re doing the ebook, page numbers don’t really matter. 🙂

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