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Now, I'm not a big fantasy reader, so grain of salt, but when I pick up a trilogy, I expect a cliffhanger. A satisfying cliffhanger but a cliffhanger. I think I'd be more disappointed if everything was wrapped in a tidy now. I was to absolutely NEED to read the next book.

I did have the page count issue with a box set of about 260k words. I couldn't get it below 1k pages for a print version using Vellum. But then I do love the line break.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
ShayneRutherford said:
In a 6x9 book I think you'd likely get more than 300 per page, but even if you got 350, you'd still be at 1,000 pages total. I mean, if you wanted to just cram the words on the page, I have no doubt you could squish them in there tight enough to make the 830-page cut-off. But that's probably not the best way to put out a book that people will enjoy reading, of course.

A lot of people will do both KDP and Ingram for print. They do KDP for selling on Amazon, and they do Ingram for expanded distribution, because they can make more money per copy that way.
I see. Is it financially worth doing both, in your opinion?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Crystal_ said:
Now, I'm not a big fantasy reader, so grain of salt, but when I pick up a trilogy, I expect a cliffhanger. A satisfying cliffhanger but a cliffhanger. I think I'd be more disappointed if everything was wrapped in a tidy now. I was to absolutely NEED to read the next book.

I did have the page count issue with a box set of about 260k words. I couldn't get it below 1k pages for a print version using Vellum. But then I do love the line break.
Good to know about cliffhangers! Thank you for contributing that.

You had a page count issue as in a print page limit, like what we discussed above?

And what is the line break you mentioned loving?
 

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Glad you got it worked out.

For future reference, as Shayne says above, you really can't use a rule of thumb for words per page, because it is heavily dependent, in order of importance, by font size, margins, amount of dialogue, (extreme) line spacing, and paper weight. (Obviously the print size of the  book matters). I've seen trade paperback books (the ones printed by CS/Ingram, as opposed to the thick 'mass market paperbacks) with as few as 275 words per page up to 450+.

Writing style also has an effect, if you do a lot of one line paragraphs.
Like this.

By far the easiest way to get a good estimate of the number of printed pages is to use your word processor's built in margin and page setup. Using a copy of your manuscript, reset the document size to (for example) 6x9, with .75 margins all around, and play around with the font. It will give you a quite accurate page count.

A couple of notes:

-- The font sizes are not the same across fonts. (A 11pt Times New Roman may have more/less words on a page than 11 pt Bookman).

-- In general, it's hard to go below 8 pt for most fonts for readability

-- You should add ~8 pages extra because the printing is done in 4,6, or 8 page 'blocks'

-- don't forget blank pages, especially in the front matter (i.e. back side of 'internal title page')


 

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Discussion Starter #25
WRPursche said:
Glad you got it worked out.

For future reference, as Shayne says above, you really can't use a rule of thumb for words per page, because it is heavily dependent, in order of importance, by font size, margins, amount of dialogue, (extreme) line spacing, and paper weight. (Obviously the print size of the book matters). I've seen trade paperback books (the ones printed by CS/Ingram, as opposed to the thick 'mass market paperbacks) with as few as 275 words per page up to 450+.

Writing style also has an effect, if you do a lot of one line paragraphs.
Like this.

By far the easiest way to get a good estimate of the number of printed pages is to use your word processor's built in margin and page setup. Using a copy of your manuscript, reset the document size to (for example) 6x9, with .75 margins all around, and play around with the font. It will give you a quite accurate page count.

A couple of notes:

-- The font sizes are not the same across fonts. (A 11pt Times New Roman may have more/less words on a page than 11 pt Bookman).

-- In general, it's hard to go below 8 pt for most fonts for readability

-- You should add ~8 pages extra because the printing is done in 4,6, or 8 page 'blocks'

-- don't forget blank pages, especially in the front matter (i.e. back side of 'internal title page')
This is incredibly helpful. Thank you for this. I tried it, and at a 9pt Times New Roman font, my (now) 204k novel is 705 pages. At a 9.5pt font it's around 750 or so. That feels decent, as the limit is 828. So far so good!
 

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Great. Two more suggestions. First, play around with line spacing (the blank space between lines). Depending on what you are setting up your file in (i.e. Word or a layout program like InDesign) the line spacing might not adjust as the font size changes. Even a reduction of 5% of the line space can save a lot of pages.

Second, make sure you print out a sample of a few pages of your tests, cut them down to size (6x9, or whatever) and give them to someone else to look at. Just because it fits doesn't mean it is comfortably readable!
 

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It's been a long time since I checked on this so you would be well-advised to check yourself. A couple of people have suggested splitting book 2 and I'd suggest looking at it because I seem to remember seeing that there was a 300K limit on a book in KU? Like I say, check for yourself and I'm happy to be corrected but if there is, that would be 50K words/pages, you wouldn't be getting paid for.
 

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There is a 3000 KENPC limit for payout on a book in KU, not 300k words. Estimate 250 words per KENP. (Kindle Edition Normalized Page Count) So that's about 750k limit for getting paid for page reads on a single title. Just don't bundle your entire series together and you'll be fine.

As for physical books, I did have to go with a hardback version of an omnibus (279k), but I was able to print it through IngramSpark. I believe their page limit is 900 pages for paperback, and 1050 for hardback.

If you use Vellum, which I highly recommend, it really let's you play around with how much you can pack onto a page without it seeming cramped, with font choice, font size, spacing, chapter heading layout, etc. It's SO EASY and simple, and comes out looking fantastic. It's great for everything except math or non-standard text heavy non-fiction and LitRPG (because of the tables.) My upcoming paperback book release will have an average of 380 words per page, which is very reasonable and helps to keep print costs down.

However, I do think splitting the book (As long as the story allows it--you don't want to anger or disappoint readers!) will be your best bet. Rework your new ending and your new beginning to make sure things are impactful and satisfying (cliffhangers can be satisfying too, if done correctly) if necessary. One more book is an extra 33% possible revenue, and makes the series more appealing to new readers who want to binge it. An extra opportunity to advertise with the "candy" of the new release helping the Amazon algorithms, etc.

Edit: And to answer your original question, I think $3.99 to $4.99 to start, and then higher prices on later books. Personally, I'm $4.99 to $5.99, and am considering raising my average price by a dollar for testing. Remember, the price isn't set in stone. Some readers want a bargain to be willing to try you out, but there are actually a lot of readers out there that believe price signifies quality, and are MORE likely to buy a higher priced book.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
WRPursche: Your advice has been invaluable to getting a rough word count. Thank you! I've bookmarked it for later.

Azalea: That's where I'm thinking for price too. Thank you for sharing!
 

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.

You're getting a lot of good advice. I would add a few notes since this is your first 'book launch':

-Make sure your first book starts in some sort of action or mystery to get the reader immediately involved. Don't start the story in a tavern or with the character looking in a mirror to describe themselves and so on.
-Often you may have a better story by cutting off the first couple of chapters. My first published book a decade ago, starts about what was actually chapter three in the original manuscript because that's where the mystery was unveiled that propelled the characters.
-Aim for word count book ranges not 'pages' or you'll get wrapped up in difficulties. Most word processors give you a running word count. Keep a sheet of paper or a spreadsheet of word count and what you added that day. Some use a monthly calendar on the wall and then you can ask why more/less words on a day and improve. Getting traction on the algorithms is constant content creation and publishing.
-Take your two books you have and combine them into one massive book and then chunk out roughly 75k word slices of the story. Yes, you are aiming for GOT heft, but the algorithms do not reward you for it. Adjust +/- word count on a chapter break or some incident that can make sense/cliff-hanger or whatever you have going on. You've seen how television shows set a plot hook just before cutting to commercials.
-Price the first one free/cheap and the rest at your $3-$6 range you are comfortable with. Now instead of two $8 books for a $16 read you have five $5 books for $20 read, but each increment is a lot easier for people to pick up.
-Release those books singly within twenty to twenty five days of each other. I made the mistake of dropping a whole trilogy one time and the algorithm treated them as three singles rather than any longevity boost.
-Look at all the cover creation threads on kboards that come up and you'll get an idea of what makes great covers. Fonts used and text placements are more important than most realize. The fanciful artwork or photography is second to the genre specific fonts.
-Once you have the electronic books published, look at getting a physical print on demand created and print off a handful of copies for yourself and family -- just for fun. Put all the separate books into one volume for this.

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