I’m sure these questions have occurred to a lot of you, too.
Both tie in together very strongly as there is a tradeoff between them and so I shall answer them together in one post.
So, is this the kind of series that you need to have all the books for the story to be complete?
No it is not. Although some threads link through from one book to the next and the political backdrop shifts as it must, each book has a main story that reaches its conclusion.
* * *
This was very important to me as I didn’t want to produce an open-ended, forever ongoing, have-to-wait-years-before-getting-satisfaction sort of work. I prefer each book to have an ending.
Next, can these paperbacks be cheaper?
I very much wanted them to be cheaper. In fact, I seriously thought to split them into smaller units to cater for that very thing, before realizing that would unbalance the stand-alone nature so important to each book.
These books are large. At 8 inches by 5.25, each is larger than a standard paperback and sits at around the 600 page mark. The Khekarian Threat is exactly 600 pages with the story itself at 590.
The production costs for this means that the books retail at $19.95, out of which I get between $1.50 and $3 (depending on which country the sale comes from and what the exchange rate is).
This really bothered me for a time because I had wanted to produce a book at around $12, not $19.95.
The Khekarian Threat actually has a very nice cut-off point at around page 300 and I was very tempted to chop the book into two simply to halve the price for readers, but that would have produced (in clusters of two) exactly the sort of series I don’t like, with the first half not reaching a satisfactory conclusion.
I feel strongly that this would disappoint more people than a cheaper book would please. In effect, I’d be giving readers a half-book. Also, a book that doesn’t come to a satisfactory conclusion is not a good one to launch a series.
My solution was to keep the book whole, produce the paperback for $19.95 regardless, but put out the Kindle version very cheaply at $4.95*. Those who are familiar with Amazon Books will know that quite a few Kindle versions retail at equal or more than paperback copies, even to over the $20 mark (I know, I don’t understand that either).
In the end, I had to keep true to the story and have done so, but have still managed the best I can to produce it very cheaply, too.
Back to the series itself, you will undoubtedly get a better reading experience if you read the series in order, but strictly speaking the books are stand-alones.
I really hope you enjoy them.
*UPDATE – 5 June 2014: That price stood for over a year and no longer applies. Kindle copies are USD $9.95.