I’ve been trying to predict how long the first Floating Point book will be. Print-on-demand publishing can be a bit harsh about price points when you write a huge book, so there’s always this tug-of-war between the creative needs of the work and the desire to make something fans will be able to afford.
You don’t want to compromise the writing, but if you can do without a weak chapter idea or a subplot that doesn’t really add anything, the savings can be directly financial. For example, in FP1.5 (I’m quite ahead of you guys at this point) I had originally planned on a series of four encounters, but realized today that I only really needed three. Condensing my incredibly verbose words is something I need to learn, and I can start by trimming fat where I find it. But only fat. Never meat.
Anyway, here are the numbers on all my books, for the curious. I ran the numbers and figured, why not blogpost them? Could be fun.
- Unreal Estate: 202k
- City of Angles vol//001: 179k
- City of Angles vol//002: 163k
- City of Angles vol//003: 183k
- Anachronauts First Age: 153k
- Anachronauts Forsaken Shores: 116k
- Anachronauts London’s Fog: 144k
- Anachronauts Stars Fall: 158k
- Welcome to Floating Point: 121k and rising (est 180k final?)
The longest by far is Unreal Estate, and that’s one reason I hesitated for years to publish it. It’s HUGE and breaking it into two books would’ve made things even worse. But now it’s out, and while profit margins aren’t great on it, at least fans who have been waiting this long for it can get a copy. I care about that more than the money.
Anachronauts books were shorter overall, but there were more of them — including a collection of side stories I’m going to be releasing in Kindle format one day. (It’d be prohibitively expensive to release them in print.) City of Angles were beefy volumes, thanks to the bonus stories and robust notes.
As for Floating Point… I’m on track to be on par with City of Angles for the first volume. So, I’d say I’m in the sweet spot. I’d love for it to be shorter but not at the expense of the work itself.
This Friday we’ll be starting FP1.4. Dark times ahead, folks. Dark times.