Author Topic: BIG books  (Read 9021 times)  

Offline Jeff

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BIG books
« on: October 30, 2008, 07:19:11 am »
Hello all you nice people.

In another thread, Leslie advised me to break up my big books into smaller books. Her irrefutable logic is that no traditional publisher will even look at a book that has more than 100,000 words. Mine have about quarter of a million words in each.

Leslie is absolutely right about traditional publishing. Big books cost more to print and they take up the shelf space of two or three normal books. In fact, big books almost disappeared when they started putting books in carousels at the grocery store. Im hoping that mobile reading devices and Print on Demand will change that.

So please tell me folks, what about you Kindle readers? Is there a big resistance to big books, or are there still readers out there that enjoy a long journey like James Clavell's Shōgun or The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand?

Thanks,


Jeff

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    Offline jah

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 07:35:05 am »
    For big book, I think a kindle version is better then a paper verison, you don't have the to worry about how much it weight, can stand lift, let alone read a heavy book, my arms hurt within a few mintues. I more willing to buy heavy big book on kindle then paper

    good luck with your books

    Jodi

    Offline Jeff

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008, 07:38:14 am »
    FWIIW: Your opinion is worth a lot, Tarma. Thanks.

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 07:42:34 am »
    Jeff,

    If a book is well written and I get into the story, I can read a million pages. I have nothing against big books, in fact, some of my favorite things to read were long. I remember being immersed for days in Gone With the Wind.

    Don't get me started on modern publishing practices! (Well, get me started if you want. We can rant away.) My comment to you was what I have heard from a number of agents and publishers. Books today are priced by the page. A book of X words sells for X and a book of Y words sell for Y. If you are a new, unknown author, an agent won't even read your letter if it says the book is longer than 100,000 words. Stupid, but true.

    I do agree, I think ebook publishing has the potential to revolutionize publishing. And I hope it does because the industry needs it and the time is ripe for change.

    L

    Leslie Nicoll

    Offline Jeff

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 07:51:19 am »
    Hi Leslie,

    In no way do I disagree with you. I know for a fact that publishers, agents and the like wont look at big book because Ive been writing them for over 30 years and have yet to get one published. But I write for the same reason that I read - it takes me somewhere else and I like to be somewhere else for as long as I can be.

    My main reason in posting the question was that Im old and out of touch so I just and wondered if todays readers were at all interested in long books. I saw very few in the thread about favorite books.


    JH

    Offline sharyn

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008, 08:01:43 am »
    I *love* big books, if they're written well and I can escape into them.  And they're so much easier to read on the Kindle...

    Think the OUTLANDER series, most of Stephen King's books, Ken Follett's books, the Harry Potter series, etc.

    In fact, some of those big books that I haven't read yet, I'm thinking about buying in Kindle version and passing along the print copies.  (Not the OUTLANDER series, though.<G>  I have it in Kindle, but am not letting go of my print copies.)

    Sharyn

    Offline Jeff

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #6 on: October 30, 2008, 08:15:25 am »
    Thanks for that, Sharyn.

    Diana Gabaldon's been very successful with her hard-covers but her paperback sales drop off sharply because of the physical size of her books. That's not her fault, her publisher's fault or her readers faults. The distributors only have limited space in their book racks. The worst part of that is that many readers who can't, or won't, spend the money for a hard-cover, never see Diana's books. The Kindle can fix that.

    JH

    Offline Jen

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #7 on: October 30, 2008, 09:05:03 am »
    One of the main reasons I love my kindle so much is for the ease of reading big books that were a deterrent due to their size before.  Pillars of the Earth is the perfect example.  I absolutely love a big book when it's something I'm really enjoying and don't want to end, especially on the kindle.  There are a lot of valid points though, I'd be really skeptical to pick one up from an unknown reader, or at least without really good reviews and/or recommendations.  It's intimidating to pick up a 900 page book you know nothing about.   
    I'd LOVE to see a kindle version of the Fountainhead, I've looked everywhere and can't find it.  I've never read Harry Potter (I know, I know) partly because of the size of them.  There's another one I'd read in a heartbeat if it were available on the kindle.  From what I've heard about Rowlings perspective on e-books though that will never happen. 
    I don't know if that helps you or not, but there's my two cents! 
    A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. ~Hugh Downs

    Offline Jeff

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #8 on: October 30, 2008, 09:37:12 am »
    To those of you who've said you'd be reluctant to read a big book by an unknown author I ask why? With Kindle you can preview 100 pages of a thousand page book at no cost.

    Next question: as an unknown author who dosen't want to write small books, what can I do to intice you to read my books?

    I've offered the first volume of my newest book free:

    http://www.eliscopublishing.com/KindleBoards/The_Treasure_of_La_Malinche_Vol_1.prc

    The only catch is you can't get it via Amazon Whispernet. You have to download it to your computer and upload it to your Kindle via USB.

    Read more about The Treasure of La Malinche here:

    http://www.eliscopublishing.com/treasure_of_la_malinche.asp


    Thanks,

    Jeff

    Offline quiltlvr

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 09:43:40 am »
    I love big books, the bigger the better because I get so engrossed in the story I just don't want it to end. I would love to sample your book when I actually get my kindle, or can it be sampled online?
    Lisa

    Offline Leslie

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #10 on: October 30, 2008, 09:46:17 am »
    This is an interesting conversation, Jeff.

    I think one thing for me: I don't have as much time to read these days as I did when I was younger. So if I "commit" to a big book, that may be the only thing I get to read for the next few weeks/months. Reading shorter books gives me a bit more variety.

    I have Pillars of the Earth on my Kindle but haven't read it yet.

    L

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    Offline Ann in Arlington

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #11 on: October 30, 2008, 09:48:56 am »
    FWIW, when downloading Jeff's book, I downloaded it to the computer and then sent it to my Kindle using my Kindle e-mail address.  Worked like a charm and I didn't have to find the usb connector. :)  And, I have a back up copy on my computer, which is a good idea with any non-Amazon books in case the worst happens. . . .

    Ann
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    Offline Jeff

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 10:11:30 am »
    Lisa,

    You can read it on your computer with the Mobipocket reader:

    http://www.mobipocket.com/en/DownloadSoft/ProductDetailsReader.asp

    Before you read my book let me warn you that the heroine has a dirty mouth.

    Ann - thanks for the tip. I would have never thought of that.

    Jeff

    Offline Jen

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 10:13:59 am »
    That's a good point Jeff - with being able to download a sample you do have the choice to see if you like it before purchasing.  I think offering the first volume for free is smart (and thank you, by the way!) to start with.  I think my main deterrent of unknown authors in general at the moment is that there is SOOO much that I want to read - it's hard to pick up something unknown at that point.  Not to say that I wouldn't at some point.  
    Plus I agree a lot with Leslie - I don't have as much time to read as I'd like, and knowing I'm getting into something huge is a bit overwhelming.  It took me a couple of months to read Pillars (granted I was moving and starting to plan a wedding) but that's a real commitment when reading time is so precious.  In that case though it was worth it!
    A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes. ~Hugh Downs

    Offline Jeff

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #14 on: October 30, 2008, 10:35:40 am »
    Thanks Columbusreader.

    You and Leslie are quite right. Big books take a lot of time to read and they just aren't for everybody. But I truly love reading and writing them.

    The Pillars of the Earth has 400,000 words, by the way. My books are small compared to that.


    Jeff

    Offline Mike D. aka jmiked

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #15 on: October 30, 2008, 10:37:54 am »
    Before you read my book let me warn you that the heroine has a dirty mouth.

    Thanks for the warning.  :)

    Offline Jeff

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #16 on: October 30, 2008, 10:51:03 am »
    Yikes. That could have been embarrassing. Leslie is usually the one that catches the adult language omission.

    Offline patrisha w.

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #17 on: October 30, 2008, 08:29:41 pm »
    I really don't look at the length of an ebook before I buy. If the first few chapters pull me in, you've got my money!

    Offline Tris

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #18 on: October 30, 2008, 11:15:31 pm »
    Oh man I absolutely love big books...bigger the better.  For me I feel like I can really connect and learn everything about the characters (maybe that's why most of my favorite books turn out to be series...huh, never thought about that before).  I think one of the best feeling in the world is digging into an awesome big book where when you get to the end, you get totally bummed out.  I didn't really feel it for 'Pillars of the Earth' (read it for a special extra credit assignment for one of my history classes in high school), but I don't remember it being that long...but it could be my second hand paperback copy.  My personal ong book favs are 'Lord of the Rings' (all in one book as it was meant to be), 'Les Miserables', 'The Stand', and on the borderline of being long...'Lonesome Dove' and 'The Three Musketeers' (both the singular book and the continuing series).

    I also have the fun classics Jules Vern, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, H.G. Wells, and Jack London (hardcover omnibuses you can get for a cheap price at Barnes & Noble) all waiting in the wings.

    I only wish I had some more money and less of my dad's view about money.  I just can't justify re-buying them just for my Kindle...it would be nice.

    Tris
    « Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 05:19:41 pm by Tris »

    Online LDB

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #19 on: October 31, 2008, 12:17:59 am »
    I'm going to be the contrarian from the majority. I'm a book price shopper. I was at Border's today. They had a table marked buy 1 get one 1/2 price. These were assorted paperbacks and none were under $12.99 so it would have been $20 or more to get 2 of them. Even "normal" paperbacks of the page size typical for the last 20 years are now $7.99 or more. Now I see a lot of new paperbacks that are about an inch taller than usual and a couple dollars higher price. Anyway, since price and page count seem to often have a correlation I'd say a huge book prices itself out of consideration. I wouldn't buy a small dictionary sized book for $27.95 but if the cover and synopsis are very appealing and interesting I might pay $9.95 for the first of a trilogy and if I like it go back for the other 2.
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    Offline Jeff

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #20 on: October 31, 2008, 08:01:24 am »
    Tris, you can get many of the books youve listed free from The Project Gutenberg EBooks:

    www.gutenberg.org

    There are also numerous web sites that offer free eBooks in various formats. I have a few on my site including Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen formatted for Adobe Reader:

    http://www.eliscopublishing.com/PublicDomain/Pride%20and%20Prejudice/Pride_and_Prejudice.pdf

    _______________________________________

    My apologies, LDB. My original question wasn't very clear. I meant to address it specifically to the Kindle and eBooks in general where size and price have little or no correlation.

    Printed books are priced based upon the printing time, the amount of paper, ink and glue. The eBooks that I sell for $3.00 are $25.00 in print simply because printed books cost a lot to manufacture, stock and ship.

    Thank you both for your comments.


    Jeff

    Offline Tris

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #21 on: October 31, 2008, 05:18:58 pm »
    Tris, you can get many of the books youve listed free from The Project Gutenberg EBooks:

    www.gutenberg.org

    There are also numerous web sites that offer free eBooks in various formats. I have a few on my site including Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen formatted for Adobe Reader:

    http://www.eliscopublishing.com/PublicDomain/Pride%20and%20Prejudice/Pride_and_Prejudice.pdf

    _______________________________________

    Jeff,

    Thanks for the links!  I have used the Gutenberg website for other classics, but I had bought all of those omnibuses from Barnes & Noble months before I got my Kindle.  However I did want to have a hardcover version as well in those books...yes, I buy books in hardcover editions if I want something to be kept forever and perhaps pass down. :P

    All this talk about big books reminds me of when I was in college and my roommate and I were taking the same Shakespeare class.  Our books literally weighed 8lbs. (yes we grabbed a scale to weight it, a small hardcover book of all of Shakespeare's work), and we had bunk beds in our dorm.  We were both reading our assignment in our beds (I was on the bottom and she was on top) when I decided I needed to get out of bed to get a new highlighter from my desk when *WHAM*!!!  My roommate's book fell off her bed and missed my head as it came out from under the bottom bunk...and I mean by the TINIEST millimeter!  It made such a loud noise that everyone on our floor came by to see what had happened (luckily no one was below us), and I was breathing pretty heavily in shock for the first few minutes.

    Now wouldn't the problem be easily handled if it was a Kindle? ;D

    Offline Ann in Arlington

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #22 on: October 31, 2008, 05:26:35 pm »


    All this talk about big books reminds me of when I was in college and my roommate and I were taking the same Shakespeare class.  Our books literally weighed 8lbs. (yes we grabbed a scale to weight it, a small hardcover book of all of Shakespeare's work),

    Was that the Riverside Shakespeark?  Definitely a Big Fat Book.

    Ann

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    Offline Tris

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #23 on: October 31, 2008, 06:21:52 pm »


    All this talk about big books reminds me of when I was in college and my roommate and I were taking the same Shakespeare class.  Our books literally weighed 8lbs. (yes we grabbed a scale to weight it, a small hardcover book of all of Shakespeare's work),

    Was that the Riverside Shakespeark?  Definitely a Big Fat Book.

    Ann


    Ah...Ann, it wasn't Riverside.  I remember it had a green/gold cover (red dust jacket) with light beige paper...the Norton Anthology book.  Funny enough after that incident (and the fact that the university bookstore wouldn't give us enough credit back for the book-by-back at the end of the quarter), we kept it and it is currently stored away in a plastic bin somewhere.  Though my roommate and I (we both keep intouch regularly) laugh about it now.

    "Books are dangerous..." :D

    Tris

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    Re: BIG books
    « Reply #24 on: November 01, 2008, 10:30:52 am »
    Jeff,
    I am a big fan of big books, multi-volumes (like Shelby Foote's Civil War series) and, in fact, before hitting the Buy button at Amazon I check to see what the length is and try to figure out if it is long enough to warrant the purchase.  I had bought some of their books without doing that and found that I blew through them too quickly.  I like getting into a story and spending time there - that being said, I was glad when Rhett told Scarlet that he didn't give a damn and it faded to black! ;D
     

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