Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Shorter but Faster

I have decided that I am going to split up the next Hemlock novel into three volumes so that I can release each volume more quickly. Volume One of Hemlock and the Dangerous Depths (working title) should be released by the end of the year.

I realize that part of the allure of fantasy is the immersion, and I do regret that the volumes will not provide the same immersive length. But it took me the better part of four years to complete Hemlock and the Wizard Tower, and I don't want to wait that long between releases. And it's not just a matter of writing more--the act of imagining the storyline (which I have dubbed "Imagineering") is hard to put on a timetable. It just comes to me, and it takes as long as it takes (especially in the face of the competing priorities of real life).

Volume I will likely be value priced at $0.99 due to the shorter length (it will technically be a novel, but will probably be around 50K words as opposed to 133K words for Hemlock and the Wizard Tower). Hemlock and the Wizard Tower is also priced at $0.99. How can a shorter Book Two, Volume One also be priced at $0.99? The answer is that I consider Hemlock and the Wizard Tower to be priced as a loss leader. It is the entry point to the series, and therefore it needs to have an enticing price and deliver superior value (word count). With the later releases, I will be trying to at least cover the production costs of "publishing", which are editing and cover art (never mind my time-hah! But, as you probably guess, it's a labor of love).

I am going to make a pledge right now: each volume will have a complete story arc and a satisfying ending. I'm not just going to chop Book Two into three parts and call them volumes. Each Volume will be a stand-alone novel, but will advance the overarching story arc as well.

On a personal note, it continues to rain and rain in Philly. I will try not to wash away before the next blog post!

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