Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Is that just one of those phrases you've always wanted to scream at the top of your lungs? And isn't it just tragic that most of us will never get to do that?


Anyway, the title refers to my realization that I have to reorganize how I'm publishing the parts of The City Darkens. I will explain, and I will try to be concise. (I'm hearing Inigo Montoya in my head: "Let me 'splain. [pause] No, there is too much. Let me sum up.")

Twice now, people I do not know (one, a snarky employee at Smashwords, the other, a member of a book group I'm in on Goodreads) have pointed out that if people buy every installment of The City Darkens once all twelve are available, they will pay almost $12 for what is essentially one book.

I wouldn't pay $12 for a novel, even if it is 150K words. Which The City Darkens is, altogether.

So while I initially dismissed what the Smashwords guy said, because he was a condescending, unreasonable peon (harsh, perhaps--I'm a little bitter still), when this other very nice guy who was giving me feedback in general made the same comment, I realized I had a perception problem. Both these guys thought I was splitting my novel into 12 parts in order to make more money, I surmised.

Now, it's true that on Smashwords, that may have been the case (although to be perfectly honest it's been a long time since I read the SW rules on royalties). However, because of the way Amazon does royalties, I would make more on one book priced at $5.99 than twelve priced at $0.99. Amazon requires that you price between 2.99 and 9.99 to earn 70% royalties. Anything above or below earns 35%.

I intended (and still do) to offer a version with parts 2-12 and a version with all 12 parts for sale as well as the individual parts, for less than $12 (I was thinking in the neighborhood of $7), actually hoping that people would opt for one of those instead of buying all the parts, because ultimately, that's going to mean better royalties for me. The trouble is, I'm not ready to publish everything yet. It's all written, it's been revised a couple of times, but I just know I still have typos to catch, and my beta reader is still working through 5-12. And she's bound to have advice for how to improve things. So part of what happened here is that my impatience, which is epic, got the better of me.

Another thing that happened is that I originally projected 8 parts. This is what comes of being a pantser. I had no idea the story would take so many words, and parts, to come to fruition. So my original plan to publish the novel as a serial meant people would pay about $8 if they bought the parts separately, and $7 for the whole thing. I just failed to alter my plan when it came out to 12 parts instead.

I wrestled with what to do for a few hours today. I drove my husband up a wall fretting over the pros and cons of a few different possibilities. I won't go into them here, because I've decided to just group parts 1 and 2, then parts 3 and 4, and so on, into larger parts. So there will be 6 instead of 12.

This means that if you have downloaded part 1 on my free book page, you will need part 2 in order to have the complete part one in this new version.

I'll be posting the original part 2 to the free page soon. Download it!!!

In other words, the titles of parts 1 and 2 are currently:
Myadar's Snare
Myadar's Revelry

And they will now both be part of Myadar's Snare. Myadar's Revelry will no longer be separate.

This is good, because I was never comfortable with the title Myadar's Revelry, but I couldn't think of anything that worked better.

The current parts 3 and 4 are:
Myadar's Secret
Myadar's Betrayal

And I think I'll just call the two of them Myadar's Betrayal. Unless people tell me they like the title Myadar's Secret more.

And so on.

So this represents a chunk of work, since I've decided to edit and format the 3&4 combo before changing Myadar's Snare to include 2.

Does that make sense?

Do you like the title Myadar's Betrayal or Myadar's Secret better for part 2?

Would you have handled my dilemma differently?


  1. That does kick a sizable hole in your initial plan...

    What was the motivation/inspiration/whatever behind serializing a novel in the first place? It's an interesting idea, just wondering where it come from.

    Yes, your beta-reader will have something to say. I am Woman / hear me Edit.

  2. Hey Kathryn,
    There are a couple of reasons I decided to go with a serial novel. Well, three that I can think of off the top of my head. The biggest is that I have long been enamored of how good tv shows are written, with the way they maintain suspense from episode to episode, and make their audience wait, gnashing their teeth, for the next episode to come out. That's what I wanted to capture by serializing the novel. Another reason is that I'm impatient, as I mentioned, and putting the novel out in parts seemed like a great way to get to the fun part (i.e. having people start reading it) before I had to really finish the whole thing completely. The final reason is that I read that the more titles you have out, the more likely you are to start really selling, and I SO want to do this for a living. I LOVE writing, and it would be awesome to make enough to quit my teaching job (which I used to love, but don't now for many reasons I've mentioned in the past).