LitRPG Preferred Book Length

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by Dustin Tigner, Aug 7, 2017.

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  1. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Started crunching the numbers on my current WIP. Average chapters length is ~2,300 words. 64 planned chapters for the first book. 147k words (at the lowest) translates to 490 pages on the low end, and up to 735 pages (depending on how Amazon calculates words-per-page for Kindle).

    Planning to use Kindle Unlimited. I feel that anything below 400 pages is good at $2.99. The high 300s/400s $3.99, and $4.99 above that.

    Just wanted to see what the general thoughts were on book length. This is a two part series, and I'm considering changing it to be a trilogy. Thoughts?
     
  2. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I think most readers in the genre enjoy longer books, but it depends on the book two? Trilogies and series work really well.

    Interested in hearing more feedback on this topic. For me personally, it's coming down to what does the book need to tell the story completely.

    I'm definitely LOW on my pricing, but Dr. Kong not allowing me to use his platform to market, I've had to adapt.
     
  3. Larakel

    Larakel Level 14 (Defender) Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Less to do with Amazon than you'd think. Or at least, when I read on my phone I have more shorter pages and on my tablet less but longer pages.
     
  4. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I'm mainly talking about the estimated page count. I just thought it would be easier to relate to than word count, depending on if you're a reader or writer. :)
     
  5. Larakel

    Larakel Level 14 (Defender) Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I know, but as a writer and a reader, personally, I completely ignore ebook estimated page counts. I mean, there are no page numbers, it's just a percentage of how far into the book you are. Page counts vary (because page sizes vary) across devices, and even reading speeds vary.

    Word count works because the word count doesn't vary. Alternatively, I think giving a paperback page count works even if you never release a paperback because people no how big a book is. We can imagine that - we can compare it with other books we know.
     
  6. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    For authors, I feel having more book is better than fewer. And how often you are able to release can make a huge difference toward your success.

    My ultimate goal is to publish a new book every month (a well written, well edited, Alpha readers, ARC team, the whole thing). I feel that 140k+ books make this hard, though 70-90k would work.

    With that said, I also feel that each book should have a solid beginning and end. And my current book 1 has that. I'm not sure how I'd build a solid end if I cut it in half, though I'm sure I could figure something out.
     
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  7. Larakel

    Larakel Level 14 (Defender) Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Totally agree. I'm a big fan of some of Chris Nuttall's work and he releases roughly a book a month. Unfortunately, I'm only a fan of some of his series and he bounces between a lot of stuff so I still gotta wait ages for the ones I like :/
     
  8. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Haha, yeah. I know some authors who write on three different series at the same time. So, they publish each month... just not in the same series. You have to wait 2-3 months per book. I'd rather keep to the series until it's done, with the understanding that most of my series wouldn't go longer than 6 books.
     
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  9. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I'm trying to build a "universe" of sorts for Tower of Gates.

    So, while I have the main series, I'm also planning "standalone adventures" within the Tower of Gates game...which, as Ramon put it in his review recently, is MASSIVE! ;)
     
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  10. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I'm guessing you have Kindle Unlimited, and so you don't care about length (I have KU and don't care). When you've already paid for a book, it's just about the story. Though if you are shopping around, I'd imagine a book for $3 that has 400 pages vs a $3 book that has 100 pages would make you consider the longer one?
     
  11. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yeah, world building can be pretty tough. So when you have a great world, having lots of books in it is great. :) Good for the readers, easier for the writer.
     
  12. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Yeah, I've got a tower with 12 "zones" on each of 12 "floors" of the tower... so room for 144 or so books or levels to clear... I doubt I'll stick with the same characters more than three or six books at a time.

    This set-up gives me the opportunity to work the RTS and other stuff in the overall game/universe. Base building as it were haha
     
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  13. Larakel

    Larakel Level 14 (Defender) Shop Owner Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I have KU.

    There would be a lot more to my decision than just length. Is the book in a series I'm already reading and enjoying? If yes, I continue the series.

    If no, have I read any the authors before? If yes, did I like them? If yes, I buy that book. If the answers were yes and then no, I buy the other book.

    If both answers are no, is the MC female? If 1 has a female MC, I buy that one. If both or neither have a female MC then...

    Do I have one I prefer in the summary? If yes, I'd be strongly inclined towards that one.
    Do I have a cover I prefer - strongly inclined towards that one.
    This is where length comes in - I'd be strongly inclined towards the longer one, but that would be competing with the summary and the cover.

    I'd be very slightly in favour of the longer book, but there are far more important things - I mean, I'd rather read 100 good pages as opposed to 400 pages of crap.
     
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  14. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 17 (Theurgist) Citizen

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    When I was younger I preferred large Tomes (700 pages and over) since they gave me more for my money.

    I'm older now and so I do lean towards faster reads, the price tag should be less about the page count and more about content.

    The Fayroll series is going for $7 on kindle and that's fine with A LOT of people even though each book averages 350 - 450 pages. Same with the way of the shaman series.

    personally I have paid for books that should be classified as novellas (less then 100 pages) but they were so good that I don't mind.

    If you feel like the book is too long you might want to break it into parts or get an editor's opinion.
     
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  15. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    That's good, and reaffirms to me that having shorter, yet well crafted, books may be ideal.

    I feel that a book that's twice as long doesn't mean it's worth twice as much. If everything is the same between the two books--writing, quality, editing, cover, blurb, marketing, etc.--then I feel the longer work will cost the author.

    If one was 300 pages for $2.99 and the other was 600 for $5.99, they'd have to sell the same amount of copies. Though I feel the cheaper book--in general--would sell more.

    Further, if one author had two books, each $2.99 vs the one book of $5.99, the two books would likely sell more because there are two products, and if a reader starts with one, they are more compelled to pick up the next.

    This is just general numbers. Writing two books is likely more difficult than writing one longer book. And editing one long book may cost less per word than a shorter book (and various other things like this).

    I'm compiling a list of LitRPG, their rating, KU, reviews, and reported page count. Just want to see the averages in this genre. :)
     
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  16. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Thanks for your input. :) I do feel that this book is too long at 147k, especially since it could become longer than that (147k - 177k). It's good to recognize this earlier than later, as I'm only 45k words into it. :)
     
  17. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 17 (Theurgist) Citizen

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    Well I did notice a little trick Litrpg authors use. The first book of the Fayroll series is actually half the price of the rest and the only one in KU.

    I notice a few authors do this with the pricing system (kindda like drug pushers LOL!)
     
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  18. Dustin Tigner

    Dustin Tigner Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Haha, yeah. This is a pretty common practice for series. Some longer series make the first book permanently free. Instead of offering a discount on the first book, I plan to write a short-story/novella and give it away for free. It's within the same world, though different characters. Gives them a taste of what to expect and doesn't cost them anything to try. ;)
     
  19. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 17 (Theurgist) Citizen

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    wishing you all the best :D
     
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  20. Felicity Weiss

    Felicity Weiss Musey Muse Muse Shop Owner Citizen

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    @Dustin Tigner, The Weirdest Noob is going to be a trilogy, and his books are about the same if a little less than your own word/page count.

    60-70k is what Play To Live, by D. Rus is touting. He's got 7 books in this serial so far. Am currently reading him.

    So, seems that shorter is standard for serials, and longer for stand alones or trilogies are OK as they align with reader expectations due to the 'epic' nature of Fantasy/SciFi.

    Comparison fact: I hear that trad publishers say 50k is the sweet spot for Post Apoc. Give or take as long as the story needs to be.
     
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