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Discussion Starter #1
John Scalzi has a series that appears to be already written and cut up into a bunch of 30 to 50 page pieces, all loaded into the queue for release going out several months. The first one went live today, and he's already got 10 of the top 20 hot new release slots with a few of the pre-orders. If the story is any good, which it probably is because he's a solid writer, and he has TOR behind him, it is conceivable that one 500 or so page story cut up into small bits could own like the top 20 spots of a 100 list. Which is cool if you are a brand name author, but kind of scary for no-name indies I think.

Having the serialized shorts on the same list with full length novels seems like putting every single episode of a TV show in direct competition with a full length movie or something. Maybe I'm just made nervous by the direction having my 500 and 800 page work having to fight for list space with a ton of 30 pagers from big names, but, well, someone talk me down. I mean, if Scalzi and Susan Collins and George R.R. Martin and Stephen King all decide to put out their next 500 page books in 30 page chunks, nobody will ever get on a list again. Which, to me, seems like the strength of Amazon, the lists. At least for indies.

Readers will pay way more for the whole story like that. Maybe that will be the flaw in the strategy. Backlash?  Thoughts????
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dalya said:
Totes called it. Big monkey balls strategy. Flood out the competitors.
Totes?
 

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Scalzi is also occupying half the bestseller list, because he's got a hugely popular blog with approx. 40000 visitors a day or so. That's why his books constantly top "best of" lists and not because he's so good. Make no mistake, I like Scalzi and his work. Plus he seems to be a really nice guy. But his large blog following is the reason why his books consistently get voted "best book of the 21st century" and so on.
 

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CoraBuhlert said:
Scalzi is also occupying half the bestseller list, because he's got a hugely popular blog with approx. 40000 visitors a day or so. That's why his books constantly top "best of" lists and not because he's so good. Make no mistake, I like Scalzi and his work. Plus he seems to be a really nice guy. But his large blog following is the reason why his books consistently get voted "best book of the 21st century" and so on.
But there's a reason why he has all those followers... right?
 

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Well, call me dumb but anyone who starts a book with such a brilliant line (Old Man's War) and maintains the wit and tension throughout is going sell a lot of books. Sure, he's not everyone's cuppa, but then neither is Stephanie Meyer or even Dan Brown. His blog has nothing to do with it. The man can be hilariously funny and he writes semi-military SF. Some of his dialogue is hilarious. He can tell a good story.
 

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His blog's okay. The book of his I've read (Red Shirts) was friggin' awesome. And really funny, like Patty said.
 

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vizzle said:
But there's a reason why he has all those followers... right?
He's president of the SFWA for three years running? He's a decent writer? He posts 4 to the blog times a day?

None of them really need to be "he's the best writer ever" . . . ;)

[I just finished the first two of his Old Man's War books and I thought they were great fun.]
 

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Discussion Starter #13
CoraBuhlert said:
Scalzi is also occupying half the bestseller list, because he's got a hugely popular blog with approx. 40000 visitors a day or so. That's why his books constantly top "best of" lists and not because he's so good. Make no mistake, I like Scalzi and his work. Plus he seems to be a really nice guy. But his large blog following is the reason why his books consistently get voted "best book of the 21st century" and so on.
He got those fans by good story telling and having that good online presence. I begrudge him nothing. I wish I had 40,000 fans to vote for my books as book of the century. My point is more that I think Amazon (and readers looking for a good selection) will not be well served by having 5 or 6 "big stories" told in 30 pages chunks jamming up an entire list, which is admittedly my "fear" at this point rather than a looming immediacy. Seems like it's going to force Amazon to enforce a word count range, and lists based on story type/length. Or else it won't, and the flood of chapters with covers will begin. The big names win, and as an indie, if you didn't get your brand built during the gold rush, oh well.

NathanWrann said:
D'll probs b back to appy for totes hurt'n ur feels.
lol. Yup. (Golly, does saying 'lol' make me sound like and old guy saying "Groovy" and stuff?)
 

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You get that a lot already on subgenre lists. You scroll down. The lists are the top 100, so you should have seventy more to choose from. And if Amazon gets enough complaints, they'll start a new list for serials, which I'm sure they're planning anyway.

BTW, I've been to the zoo, monkeys fling poo and play with their hangers, and their balls aren't that big. Nothing to worry about.
 

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What's he doing? He's cutting up a novel and releasing it as 20 sections? At what, $1.99 each or something? $40 for the novel. Sorry, I'll pass. Am I missing something here?
 

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vrabinec said:
What's he doing? He's cutting up a novel and releasing it as 20 sections? At what, $1.99 each or something? $40 for the novel. Sorry, I'll pass. Am I missing something here?
It's the return of the serial format which has been going on for a while now. At the end the repackaged version will be no more or less than a normal tradpub novel most likely.

It does allow people to download bits and pieces to feed their desire for more, regular content.
 

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Mathew Reuther said:
It's the return of the serial format which has been going on for a while now. At the end the repackaged version will be no more or less than a normal tradpub novel most likely.

It does allow people to download bits and pieces to feed their desire for more, regular content.
So he's gonna price each section at something like 75 cents X 20 = $15? That would be annoying, but I guess it gives the reader the chance to opt out without having invested too much if he doesn't like where the book's going..
 

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I'm reading Old Man's War - really enjoying it. But I won't buy the serial in parts. I would rather read it when he's done. It doesn't sound like a bona fide serial anyway - just a novel chopped into parts. Might not fly...
 

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dgaughran said:
I'm reading Old Man's War - really enjoying it. But I won't buy the serial in parts. I would rather read it when he's done. It doesn't sound like a bona fide serial anyway - just a novel chopped into parts. Might not fly...
Sounds like how I feel about GRRM. I got so sick of waiting for the next installment and having nothing resolve that I gave up.

(BTW, it's good to see you around, Gaughran. Where ya been?)
 

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dgaughran said:
I'm reading Old Man's War - really enjoying it. But I won't buy the serial in parts. I would rather read it when he's done. It doesn't sound like a bona fide serial anyway - just a novel chopped into parts. Might not fly...
I find it amusing that you're also reading it. :) I'm curious to see what he's done with the whole serial concept, but I'm not curious enough to buy into it.

Seeing you reminds me I really do need to finish Valparaiso . . . and I did just finish Ghost Brigades.
 
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