Poll

As a reader, do you ever buy long (> 600 page) novels by indie authors?

I love big books and I cannot lie.
18 (29%)
No, life is too short and my reading list is too long.
13 (21%)
Only by authors I know.
4 (6.5%)
No preference. I read books of all types..
27 (43.5%)

Total Members Voted: 62

Author Topic: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels  (Read 1205 times)  

Offline Joseph Rhea

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Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« on: June 13, 2018, 07:10:46 PM »
As someone who has recently released a big, fat (612-page) scifi saga (Novum Chronicles) that is actually an omnibus of my 5-book Novum series, I'm curious what you all think of long novels.

Offline DarkScribe

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Re: Long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2018, 07:16:36 PM »
As someone who has recently released a 612-page scifi saga (Novum Chronicles) I'm curious what you all think of long novels.
Something that I do not consider. The length of a novel has no more influence on me than the size of the table my meal is served on in a restaurant.  I do not favour novellas or short stories tho', I like something that I'm not going to finish quickly.

Offline Joseph Rhea

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Re: Long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2018, 07:43:53 PM »
I realize that book size is less obvious in ebooks. I also think I can safety assume that far more people complain about an ebook being too short, rather than too long.

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Re: POLL regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2018, 08:04:26 PM »
I don't like really lengthy novels.
 600 pages? Nothing  is that important. Granted, I'm not big on SFF, so I'm probably not the target and as I've heard SFF people like door stoppers.

If I stick with a 600 page book it must be the most magical thing I've ever read. Otherwise I'll probably pull a DNF if, by page 100, it's not actually interesting.

Offline Jeff Tanyard

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Re: POLL regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 08:18:45 PM »
I've got no prejudice against long novels.  I'm a SFF fan, after all, so long novels sort of come with the territory.
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Offline Joseph Rhea

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Re: POLL regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 08:20:08 PM »
So this is my point:  I originally wrote a 5-novella series, which sold well and the reviews were good, but when I finished, I combined it into an onmibus that is over 600 pages long. Even though I'm able to sell the omnibus for about half the price of the original 5 book series, it isn't selling nearly as well as the seperate books. Even now seems like people are willing to pay $10 for 5 small books, than $6 for one big book.

Offline Confused Fairywren

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Re: POLL regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 08:23:27 PM »
I love the idea of long novels, but I always get distracted halfway through (which is something I get disappointed in myself about). Shorter reads are much easier to push through (and even then I sometimes put down a book, do other things, and come back two months later).

This is why I've gravitated towards romance over the years, and get my SF and Fantasy fixes from television, film and video games. But I don't know if that's at all typical. :/

Offline P.J. Post

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Re: POLL regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2018, 08:51:23 PM »
The number of pages may not be your problem. I think this looks more like a Branding/Pricing/Packaging issue.

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Re: POLL regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2018, 08:57:34 PM »
As long as it is > 100 pages I'm game if the price is right. I'm more reluctant to read shorter stuff because I like to see character development.

Offline David VanDyke

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Re: POLL regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2018, 09:12:44 PM »
Note that by combining cat 1 with cat 4, you now know that over 70% of readers are happy to read long books.


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Offline Joseph Rhea

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Re: POLL regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 03:11:34 AM »
The number of pages may not be your problem. I think this looks more like a Branding/Pricing/Packaging issue.

I'm guessing that you are talking about going with a 5-books-in-1 packaging rather than a "5 book collection" (where you show all books on the cover.)  I am starting to think now that that may have been a bad choice, marketing-wise, but I had what I thought were sound reasons.   Each book in the series is like a serialized episode, almost stand-alone, but part of a continuous story arc.  I was also, admittedly, inspired by Hugh Howey's Wool series and when he released them as a single book, it worked quite well for him (understatement of the year).

I guess my bigger issue is that Amazon doesn't have a way of linking the series to an omnibus, or even a collection, so all of the positive reviews that the series received, go unnoticed.

Offline notjohn

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 03:22:57 AM »
Marcel Proust has had some success with his la recherche du temps perdu, which is usually measured at a million words.

The 99-cent (1920s) English translation is #21,013 Paid in Kindle Store.
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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 04:55:00 AM »
Are you asking an aesthetic question or a business question?

My only omnibus (which tells a continuous story) sells okay but probably because there's an audiobook linked to it. No, the reviews don't come along. I don't expect old readers (my mailing list) to buy it. Therefore, if I market it (I haven't), I'd be trying to find new readers, not asking my current fans to act.

But new readers are hesitant to plop down $6 (or in my case $10) for an author they don't know.

Probably the best way to kick it off is to try for a Bookbub for .99. If you can get one, you'll get the reviews, and that burst of sales might have a tail (though Amazon is making tails damned short these days). Good luck!

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2018, 06:06:25 AM »
If it's a single book of 600 pages, no thank you. I'm too busy to read that. But if it's several books combined into 600 pages, I can still read one of the books and put it down until I have time for the next one.

I find the same thing with my series/bundles. Readers would much rather buy one book at a time.


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Offline Anarchist

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2018, 06:20:06 AM »
I avoid books that boast 600+ pages.

For example, I love Sanderson and bought Way of Kings in 2013. But I still haven't read it. Words of Radiance, the second book in the series, is over 1,000 pages, and that just kills my motivation.

Same with King's The Stand. I read it in college, loved it, and intend to read it again. I've had this intention for nearly 15 years.

As an aside, this man is very pleased with the first choice on your poll...






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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2018, 07:16:51 AM »
Personally, I don't consider 300-500 pages particularly "short". But I suppose that's subjective. I find that around 350 pages is my sweet spot when reading, but I'll dig into something longer if I absolutely love the premise or it's been building up to a longer book over the course of a series (like Harry Potter).But even then...I have to SERIOUSLY want to read it one it's starts creeping closer to the 500 marker.  But when I see those giant books on the shelf with tiny print, I don't even give them a second glance. When I was younger those were all I wanted to read because I felt like I was getting my money's worth, but literally every time I was bored out of my skull once I'd reached the halfway point and had to force my way through. Maybe it was just the selection of books I'd picked, but nowadays I don't take the chance. As your poll states, life is too short!
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Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2018, 07:23:35 AM »
I'm guessing that you are talking about going with a 5-books-in-1 packaging rather than a "5 book collection" (where you show all books on the cover.)  I am starting to think now that that may have been a bad choice, marketing-wise, but I had what I thought were sound reasons.   Each book in the series is like a serialized episode, almost stand-alone, but part of a continuous story arc.  I was also, admittedly, inspired by Hugh Howey's Wool series and when he released them as a single book, it worked quite well for him (understatement of the year).

I guess my bigger issue is that Amazon doesn't have a way of linking the series to an omnibus, or even a collection, so all of the positive reviews that the series received, go unnoticed.

Your omnibus cover looks to be a completely different book/series than your individual books. If the novellas are selling, why would you toss the brand (cover style/color) in the trash for the omnibus?

As to length, I have a 5-book omnibus at $9.99 that sells occasionally. Where I make my money is on page reads. I have an AMS ad running constantly for it.

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2018, 07:27:06 AM »
With regards to book length, the only thing that annoys me is paying full price and discovering after the fact that it's a short story (i.e. I didn't bother to read the book page correctly).  Longer books don't bother me at all.

At the end of the day, a terrible short story will still feel longer than it needs to be / whereas an excellent 1000 page tome will still feel too short.  It's all in the story.


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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2018, 07:30:48 AM »
I know at least one person who only reads books with pictures   ::)

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Offline Joseph Rhea

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2018, 07:46:00 AM »
Your omnibus cover looks to be a completely different book/series than your individual books. If the novellas are selling, why would you toss the brand (cover style/color) in the trash for the omnibus?

As to length, I have a 5-book omnibus at $9.99 that sells occasionally. Where I make my money is on page reads. I have an AMS ad running constantly for it.

Actually, if you look at my banner below, the series is the middle 5 books and the onmibus is the one on the right. They are the same in style and coloring, etc.  Maybe you are looking at the crazy yellow-orange book on the left and that's a completely different standalone book. 😎

For comparison,  here is the page that describes the difference between the series and the omnibus:

http://JosephRhea.com/novum

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2018, 07:48:00 AM »
Love big books, and as someone already said above they tend to come with the territory in my favorite genres, adult SF/F.

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2018, 11:53:22 AM »
I love shorter books. However, if I read the blurb of a long book and it said omnibus, I might still choose to read it despite length.

On the other hand, novels of 600 pages? I stopped reading those a long time ago. Just do not have the energy to stick with one story for that long. In point of fact, I was reading a book the other day, and I was enjoying it, but it just felt like it was taking forever to read, and so the next time I picked up my Kindle, I ended up choosing another book, and then another, and I haven't gotten back to the long book. I've just lost all enthusiasm for it. I mean, it's still sitting in my reader program about 75% finished. I *might* get back to it in the next month or two, but in the meantime, I've read tons of shorter books and will probably read plenty more.

I have a few really long fantasy novels in my queue but I've put them off for years now, despite high recommendations. I just can't face the fact that they're 1000+ pages--and there are series of these books to finish once I get past those. Yikes.

My sweet spot for reading seems to be 30,000 to 50,000 words these days. Anything over 50,000 and I start getting really bogged down. I hate that stuck-in-my-head feeling I get when I've spent all day reading one book and as I've gotten older, I avoid it more and more.

I might like long books better if I read faster, but I don't. A 600 page book would take me all day and then some to read start to finish.

Offline rcullison

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2018, 11:58:46 AM »
As a writer of a big book (251k words, paperback is 698 pages) it'd be weird if I said I didn't like them.

But it's not about the size. It's the quality of the story. A short story could be so boring I can't bring myself to finish, or a 1000 page doorstopper can be so interesting I'm sad when it's over.

It's like asking if a painting is good based on the size of the canvas.

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2018, 12:00:01 PM »
I know at least one person who only reads books with pictures   ::)

My shorts stories include pictures!  8)

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Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2018, 12:00:33 PM »
As someone who has recently released a big, fat (612-page) scifi saga (Novum Chronicles) that is actually an omnibus of my 5-book Novum series, I'm curious what you all think of long novels.

Hate them. Too damn long.

I can barely get through 200 pages without quitting a book.

I like my books to be 200 or less. I don't mind 300 but anything over 400 and I don't buy it.