In this update, I wish to tackle two issues that have cropped up in the past couple of weeks. I received word, via a couple of emails and an Amazon review, that some folks think I am trying to charge more for less in regards to The Scion of Abacus. I feel I need to make an official statement here to clear the air.
Official Scion pricing statement
I feel I ought to respond simply to clarify what is patently a false accusation regarding the length of the individual volumes in the serial.
Each of the parts of The Scion of Abacus is nearly identical in length. There is no more than about 2,000 words difference between any two volumes, with the shortest being about 33,500 words long (which is, incidentally, the first of the six). That amounts to a maximum of 6 pages difference in a Word document out of every 110 pages. Checking the length count on your Kindle (if you’ve bought the serials) will confirm what I have said about near-equal length.
Regarding price, I firstly want readers to know that I did think long and hard about this. My justification is this: The entire story of The Scion of Abacus comes in at about 210,000 words. An average fantasy novel ranges between 80,000 and 150,000 words. Yes, some writers push 300,000 words per novel, but those are the exception rather than the norm. At over 200,000 words, then, the complete Scion story is roughly the length of two standard novels in the genre.
I charged 99c for the first three and have planned–after long thought–to charge $1.99 for the final three, bringing the total cost to $8.94, which is precisely what you would pay at a Barnes and Noble for a single mass-market paperback (whether 300 or 900 pages long, there is no difference in mpb pricing). I do not feel that paying $4.47 for an ebook is exorbitant at all (given that my story is two books long), and long-time followers will recall that the book was initially planned as a duology. And I regularly pay $4.99 for indie novels that are about 100,000 words long.
Just by looking at sale figures, I had no idea that anyone thought I was price gouging, for Part 4 of Scion has been selling as well as the other parts, even at twice the price. But I noticed a review on Amazon this week accusing me of trying to charge $15 for a book, which I have hopefully demonstrated above is false. Likewise, this reviewer said the books were so short they didn’t even count as short stories. Again, patently false.
I am not trying here to call out this person. Rather, I wish to ask of you who have read and enjoyed The Scion of Abacus this far to consider taking the time to leave a review on Amazon. Heck, even if you did not particularly enjoy the story, or only think it moderately good, I would appreciate a well-rounded critique of the story to help future buyers. I feel this would be much more constructive than what has been done so far.
There has been a great deal of interest in the series, for which I am very grateful, and I would hate for the book to be spoiled by false allegations. I would rather people choose not to read it because they don’t like the story than that they believe (falsely) it will cost $15 for six parts that get shorter and shorter.
Any Good News this Week?
I am hard at work on preparing Part 5 of The Scion of Abacus for publication, so hard that you will note I failed to add the final posts in my “Religion in Fantasy” series–those will come next week, I promise! But the good news, apart from being at work to get Part 5 finished, is that I hope to speed up the one-month spacing between serial volumes. The end result won’t get Part 6 out significantly earlier, but I should be able to have it on sale on the first weekend of May. I am really going to strain myself to get there, as folks have been asking me to hurry up. They can’t wait!!!
Additionally, I should be starting the new series soon, perhaps as early as next week after all. Also, I was interviewed this week for a podcast series focusing on Tolkien’s use of Norse mythology in his works. The episode should be live sometime this weekend, but if you’d like to check out the young podcast series called Aldasaga, I highly recommend it based on what I’d heard so far.
Right, that’s your lot for the week. Cheers!