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Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Trilogy or Series? That's the Question


So far I have told you about using the incorrect margins in Create on Amazon, which resulted in the first paperback having a very tiny font. 

Then I went on to talk about the difficulties of editing, without money to pay for a professional Editor. 

In my continuing saga of the mega mistakes I have made as a new Indie Author, I want to tell you about why I separated one large book into three smaller ones.

My original plan was to create a trilogy of large thick books. This is how I like to read fantasy, with the knowledge that there are lots of adventures to be had. My first book was going to be approximately 450 pages. I printed it as a paperback and also as an e-book. However, it just didn't get any sales. Upon seeking advice from fellow authors, I discovered that short books are more popular with readers, if it is a new author. This seemed to make sense to me. Hence, I split the large book into three smaller ones.

Sounds like it should have worked, but I feel there were good and bad that came out of doing this:

*The positive things were that the books were shorter, and therefore might appeal more to readers. 
*It now became a series instead of a trilogy, as I had always intended to write more. After all this was only the beginning of the trilogy. This meant I should make more money by selling more, but cheaper, books.
*It should also mean that future books will be easier to write, as each piece will be shorter.

*The more negative things were, that it left my books without any real structure. The original thicker book was written with it's beginning, middle and end. But splitting them lost that structure. 
*Books 1 and 2 didn't really have proper endings. I tried to create new endings, but it just proved impossible. So I had to rely on the fact that the books ended 'in the air', and perhaps that would make readers want to buy the next one. I don't think this really worked very well. Feedback indicated they wanted to see closure to each book. 

For future books I will not have this problem, because they will purposely be written as shorter books. Therefore, the structure should be fine. However, in my mind books 1, 2 & 3 are still the beginning of the tale, so I have called them Series One. Putting them together as an omnibus will help to eliminate some of the problems, as the reader will feel the flow between books by reading them all together. But, for the reader that likes a tale in shorter shots, the smaller books will remain available. 

Presently, I am tidying up each book before I release them as an omnibus, later this year. I have nearly written book 4 (part of Series Two), but need to find an ending for it yet. 

Next time I'll tell you of my experience in marketing, with a shoestring budget. 

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