Curse Update: Copy Edits, 2 Books

Posted by John Brown on July 12th, 2014

CurseV2FinalV1My copy editor just delivered the marked up manuscript. I will be making the edits over the next few days. Once those are made, it’s time to publish.

Ah, but publish just one book?

Nope. It looks like this is going to be two:

  • CURSE: The Dark God Book 2
  • RAVELER: The Dark God Book 3

Each book would be about 120k words. Novels can range from around 30-50k words like many middle grade novels (or most of the books written by Louis L’Amour) to the 50-70k length of a lot of romance novels to the 70-100k words of many thrillers to the 300-400k epic behemoths that George R.R. Martin and Sanderson have recently written.  I think most adult novels are around 100k.  I think most fantasies are in the 80-130k area, although many epics can be in the 200’s.  The bottom line is that both volumes will be chock full of story.

This is all part of a strategy to tell the same long, big story as originally planned, but do it in quicker chunks so that the series can become viable financially more quickly, but also so readers aren’t waiting so long between books.  I have tormented those who enjoyed book 1 and wanted more far too long. I want to remedy that in the future, and more frequent installments will allow me to do this. Getting these two volumes out will help set the expectation, I think.

So a release of CURSE in July seems more than feasible. Then we’ll release RAVELER early August. Why August? Because we need to commission a new cover illustration. The soonest the artist can have it done would be August. Stay tuned. I can’t wait to see what art Victor comes up with next.

And if you want to get in on the new release sale for both, please sign up for the notification in the left sidebar.

Happiness.

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5 Responses to “Curse Update: Copy Edits, 2 Books”

  1. Shane Says:

    I think 120 words is the perfect length for a fantasy novel. I like Martin’s books (and Steven Erikson’s too for that matter, which must be in the 300k-400k range), but they become feats of endurance (for me) at times.

    I like the title “RAVELER”, very intriguing!

  2. JohnW Says:

    “I have tormented those who enjoyed book 1 and wanted more far too long.”

    You can say that again! I think you are only a few months from the 5 year anniversary of the date Servant was published.

    As I have said before, I think releasing shorter books more frequently is the way to go in this era of ebooks.

    Probably the optimal formula is to release a book every 3 months and charge $2.99 for each book. It would be interesting to release a chapter or two every month and charge $0.99, but amazon’s ebook royalties penalize books less than $2.99, so I think the 3 months formula may be better. 3 months is short enough that fans get a new book frequently, but allows enough writing time to create a book long enough to justify paying $2.99 (at least 50K words). I think most fans are willing to pay around $12 per year for an ebook series, whether that is a 200K word ebook a year at $12, or a 50K word ebook every three months at $3/ea. But any more than that and I think most fans may balk. Actually, some fans balk at an ebook more than $10, but give them 200K words per year, divided into two or more installments, with each installment priced below $10, and many will not have a problem.

    If you have 2 or 3 series going at once, you could spend 3 months on each book in each series and alternate so that fans still have less than a year to wait for the next book, even if they only read one of your series. But I doubt it is optimal to have more than 2 series going at once.

  3. John Brown Says:

    It’s good to hear you both have no issues with shorter books!

    John,

    3 months would be great. If I were full time, I don’t think that would be an issue. My goal now is to get two books out a year, hopefully, three. We’ll see how it goes. I did write 50k words for the ending in two months earlier this year, but I wonder if 50k is just too small to fit the complexity of story I want to tell. I’m currently trying to come up with a structure that will allow shorter installments yet still retain the big feel. Things may speed up now that I’ve gotten over the big hump of the indie learning curve. It will be exciting to test and see.

  4. JohnW Says:

    If you are releasing part of a story every 3 months (or more frequently), then I do not think it is necessary to have everything, or even anything, wrapped up nicely every 3 months. So I do not think a complex story precludes releasing every 3 months. As long as customers know not to expect closure until the story is complete (you could manage expectations by titling each ebook part something like “Dark God, Part 2″).

    Unless you meant that you doubt your ability to outline the story ahead of time. If you cannot do that, then I can certainly see the problem with releasing the story in 3-month-parts, since you could write yourself into a hole in the first 3-month-part that cannot be satisfactorily resolved 6 or 9 months later.

  5. JohnW Says:

    64% looking good! :-)

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