LitRPG Preferred Book Length

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

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  1. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 17 (Theurgist) Citizen

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    I think King disagree's with you, I forgot which book he noted this in but he actually addressed this as a writer, He believes that while TV series and Movies have to rush things to keep on trend or risk losing the customer's interest, authors CAN have wide gaps between releases. Not because they want to but because people that gravitate toward books tend to have more patience and a longer memory, If your fav. author puts out a book five years later odds are you will be interested in it.

    I think this is true for stand alones (and whatever those are called that have the same MC but a different adventure each time like Sherlock Holmes) , Episodes and series tend to follow a lot of TV/movie troops from cliff hangers to foreshadowing that pays of in later books which is why they attract people with shorter attention spans.

    I usually avoid those unless I come across a series with most of the books out, then it's book binge time!!!

    Anyway it comes down to what your style is in the end, obviously the more books you have out the better both for yourself and your readers. (is totally being selfish when she says that as she is not a patient person!)
     
  2. James G Patton

    James G Patton Horrific Pun Master LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Maybe I should have clarified I meant writing series. Stand alones are different, but to be honest I am trying to recall any LitRPG I've read that is a stand alone, and do not recall any. I'm sure they exist.

    King is a different monster. He doesn't do series. Or I guess the Dark Tower is a series, but he should NOT do series, because he sucks at it, and ruined the Dark Tower series. I mean the shit that comes after book three is like uh... wtf? Stand alone novels are different, because you are not waiting for the next book in a series, you are just waiting for the next book. Which if it is an author I like, I'll probably read a new stand alone book no problem. Plus King has spent decades building a brand, so the books practically sell themselves.

    I've read a few of his books on publishing, and found them to be mostly useless. Or maybe unrealistic to the up and coming writer/indy author. If he did not have the name he does, I doubt he would sing the same tune. Easy to preach it from a high horse, you know what I mean?

    I am not a patient reader either haha, which is why I started writing back when I was a kid. I literally have hundreds of books I've started ranging from 30k-140k words. Just because I got tired of waiting, and I might be in the minority of readers, because if I wait too long to finish a series, I never will. I hate rereading books to get caught back up.
     
  3. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 17 (Theurgist) Citizen

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    True, King is a brand all on his own, Love his books but I have yet to touch the dark tower series.

    He mentioned them in some of his other books and the idea just didn't appeal to me. But I think what sets him apart is not just the name but tenacity, back when he started out most authors would release a max of a book a year and some that were doing well a book every 4-5 years. King had to actually convenience his agent to put out 2-3 books every year minimum.

    Also he compares writing to a muscle memory, the more you do it the better you become. if you stop you might lose it. also he wasn't afraid to be different. Kindda why I like books that take things from a different perspective you know... or make me laugh, A girl appreciates a guy that can make her laugh

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I think that is a good point. The more often you publish, the more you are in your readers' mind. Some people even write and publish 3 books at a time, or space them out a week or two apart. I'm like you, one month apart. In the last year I released two series, one series was 4 books, the other five, and spaced them out a month apart.
     
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  5. Zachariah Dracoulis

    Zachariah Dracoulis God Emperor of LitRPG (I can be an egotist too) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Oh yeah, big time, I'm actually about to finish this month's one (the benefit of 10,000 word stories is that they only take me 3-5 days to write out, even with constant uni BS). And the LoT books are only 40k a piece, and people seem to like them.
    I think short is fine as long as you don't overcharge and don't expect a ton of money up front. With LoT I'm making a steady income because the books offer advertisement for each other, and when people see they're $0.99 they get all three.
     
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  6. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Agree totally. My 23k book is only 99 cents and in KU, so sells like hotcakes.
     
  7. James G Patton

    James G Patton Horrific Pun Master LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I totally missed this post. Not novellas, but my books are 50-60k range. These qualify as a novel. I figure two books qualify at about the price of a full sized novel. So at 2.99 a book, its still a pretty good deal. And if you look at it like you are paying for individual halves of a book, you pay for half a book and if you don't like it you don't have to pay for the second half.

    See what I did there haha.
     
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  8. MrPotatoMan

    MrPotatoMan Level 13 (Assassin) Citizen

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    As a reader I have 2 things to say about this 1) game of thrones has taken years years for the second one and while im not aware of what the author has said he dosent seem to have an ETA since I havent read GOT I cant exactly compare but one series I have still been wanting is the next name of the wind why because we have been promised a third book the author has talked about it alot and because there loooong I dont want to wait 3 years for a (audible time) 8 hour book but I will sadly (because whos happy with wait)wait 3 for a 20-30 hour book
    2) I actualy think your wrong on this I find I much prefer when books come out about 4 months apart one series I picked up and loved was the bobiverse series but I still havent gotten the third book not because I dont like them but because the third one felt to early (especially given I think its the last) I also have a huge problem with waiting for short books I dont even want to wait a few months for a (audible time) 7-9 hour book I will get the next one when it comes out if I see it but I wont eagerly await it unless its one of my favorites and sometimes not although thats a whole other can of worms.

    Sorry if this is rambles on im tired and have a headache.
     
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  9. John Ward

    John Ward Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I don't know if 4 months apart is my optimal time or not, but it's around there. I used to read a couple of authors who put out novella length works every single month for... well, they did it for a long time. This was great, but eventually I got tired of them. Not because they weren't writing good stuff. It's just that I had other authors I wanted to follow as well. Once a month is definitely too frequent for me. Once a quarter feels about right. However, there are people who finish books in a single day and can burn through a triology over a weekend. Everyone's different.

    I love the Bob-i-verse. I enjoyed the humor and the main character's attitude. What qualities did you like about it?
     
  10. John Ward

    John Ward Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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  11. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I really like reading and writing novellas, but full novels do better just because of KU. More pages to read mean more income. KU is killing short fiction.

    That said, I think novellas work best for me in series. The longer the series the better, because when readers discovers you in book 12, they have 11 more books to buy/borrow and read.

    R. Bevan seems to be doing well with short LitRPG, but he publishes often. If you go short, good luck.
     
  12. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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    I think 80k is the sweet spot for a novel length. But instead of thinking about it in terms of absolute length, think of it in terms of "where is a good stopping point?"

    As long as there's a beginning, middle, and end, you're golden. If you think about it in terms of word count and price, you risk falling into the same trap that turned myself and others off of the End Online universe, where the author hits 50k words and just stops. There was one where he literally stopped in the middle of a discussion scene because he hit that arbitrary word count of his.

    And me? I blow through books. I read about two of them a day, on average. More if I'm really involved and want to see what comes next, less if I'm running out of things to read - which happens a lot, even with KU.
     
  13. Zachariah Dracoulis

    Zachariah Dracoulis God Emperor of LitRPG (I can be an egotist too) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    It can be really rewarding, especially when it goes well. Since January I've been a low-mid lister in the LitRPG genre (I fell off the radar for a bit after having my daughter), but because my stories are so short I can make my releases frequent, which is really important in this genre. You'll get the occasional length snob, but most of the time, if you stick with the good crowds, you'll be taken care of.
     
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  14. John Ward

    John Ward Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I'm happy to hear this. I looked at the stats for Fragged 1-3 and I'm hoping you can answer a question for me. Fragged 1 has a sales rank of 106k. Fragged 2 is at 345k, and Fragged 3 is at 289k. My question is how does Kindle Unlimited play into all of this? You say you're a midlister which I'm interpreting to mean as you're getting like car payment (maybe a cheap car, but somewhere around a few hundred dollars a month) type money on a regular basis. I wouldn't think those sales ranks would give you those kinds of earnings, but maybe Kindle Unlimited is making a difference?

    I'm not asking you to go into specific details or give me income statements. My only question is are you saying that Kindle Unlimited is making a big difference in your earnings for these books? Is that why you feel like you're earning midlister type money?

    Also, if I'm being too nosy tell me to shut up and go home. The reason I'm asking this is because I've been having a weeks long argument/debate with @Dustin Tigner that has touched on this topic and neither one of us really knows how big of a role KU plays in these types of evaluations. I'm just trying to understand things a bit better, but I really don't want you to go into specifics. Please feel free to speak in general terms. Thanks.
     
  15. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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    Speaking as a reader, I'm FAR more likely to pick up a book on KU than I am to buy, if only because my Amazon allowance that I've set for myself won't allow me to buy all the books I read.

    I also like the Smashwords pay-what-you-want option. It lets me pick the book up for free then I can buy another copy for what I felt it was worth. Reviewing with my wallet as it were.
     
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  16. John Ward

    John Ward Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I know what you mean. I'm a recent subscriber to KU and I'm finding myself being much more willing to try out new authors than I used to be. In fact, I just started reading Fragged before I'd commented above because it's in KU.
     
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  17. MrPotatoMan

    MrPotatoMan Level 13 (Assassin) Citizen

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    honestly Im one of those people and I still think if you put books out to often I just get tired of them if you want to do that I think its better to go the super powerds route and make a serial or monthly release and string it together into a book
    Same stuff although I also love the communication aspect that hes multiple people but one person I love books that dont just stick to the standard MC viewing everything and just talking I find there are more interesting ways authors can tell stories and while its hard playing with frequency of switches and how you do it can make the story feel clearer and also allow the author to hide important info
     
  18. Zachariah Dracoulis

    Zachariah Dracoulis God Emperor of LitRPG (I can be an egotist too) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    KU is definitely where I get most of my money, and youre dead right with the few hundred dollars a month margin. The thing is I've got a larger and more diverse catelogue than most in this genre (not saying that makes me better or anything) so when I get just one happy reader they'll (based on the spikes and times of sales) read a whole bunch of my other stuff on KU, which leads to thousands and thousands of pages read. And sometimes people will even buy it afterward (ive been told this a few times) because of the low prices of all my stories.
     
  19. John Ward

    John Ward Level 12 (Rogue) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Mentioning your back catalog isn't a problem. That's where authors make their money and how they turn this into a career. I have a friend who is able to support himself by writing alone and he always tells me that having a lot of books out there is how you make a living. With that in mind, it seems that the Fragged series are the only ones that are actual novella length. Well, the other series that starts with a T and is difficult to spell might be novella length, but if it is then it's at the upper end and pushing into short novel territory. For the purposes of this conversation about the viability of short fiction, what percentage would you say comes from the Fragged series? I ask because, to give a hypothetical example, if you're making let's say 300 dollars every month, but 280 of those dollars come from the longer books then that would seem to indicate that authors are better served by writing novels. Can you give us an idea of what you're seeing in the short story/novella market for your books?
     
  20. Tom Gallier

    Tom Gallier Level 15 (Guardian) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I make a living writing, but barely. It's feast and famine sometimes. But, to answer your question as pertains to my books. Novels overall pay better month in and month you. Mine are all in KU, and I probably earn half my income from KU. It looks like most of the people who borrow my books do actually finish them, so the 300 page books pay out much better than the 50 page books. I get about the same number of actual sales for both novels and novellas, but again the novels are priced higher. Most of my novellas are priced at $2.99, not 99 cents.
     




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