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Monday, 27 October 2014

full books vs part books.

There seems to be a new trend among writers (particularly of ebooks) where they basically write one book but publish it a piece at a time, numbering those part 1, 2, 3 etc. I liken it to watching a soap opera rather than a movie.
A movie (like a novel) is a complete story and may have a sequel at a later date but the actual movie (or novel) is still a complete movie.

An episode of a soap opera will leave you hanging for the next section and is just that, its a snippet of a story. It is not a complete stand alone piece.

Some readers aren't a fan of this technique as it is forcing you to spend more and more money. The reader will often be tricked into buying a 99c or sometimes free book, once they read it they are hooked (if the author is a good writer or suits the readers style) the next book will often be still quite reasonable $2.99-4.99 and after that they are really hooked and the next section may be more again. It may end up costing the reader $20-$30 for the complete set.

The good: As far as marketing goes I like the strategy and I think its very clever. It helps Authors grip readers and commits them to buying more of their work. It also allow the reader to "test drive" your writing before they commit to buying an entire book.

The bad: Their seems something a little deceptive about it. Especially when it is sometimes not made clear up front. The other bad thing is new Authors and self published authors such as myself are almost forced to implement the same strategy even if they don't agree with it . There seems no way to compete in the ebook market as an unknown writer. Imagine this: you are scrolling through amazon and see two books that take your fancy. One is priced $15 and the other is 99c. Most people will choose the 99c even though down the track the entire book may end up costing more than the $15 one.

I would love to know peoples opinion of this. Have you ever been caught out? Are you an author that uses this technique to sell? What are the positives and negatives?


  1. This has happened to me so many times! I am not willing to spend the money, though, so I've never been able to read a whole story through this method. I think that publishing the entire thing at one time would be more beneficial, since you could just sell the whole story for money. I don't know how many other people are like me though.

  2. I see what you're saying. I would rather spend money on books that I know up front are going to cost me a certain amount rather than thinking it's free, being charged more for part 2 and even more again for part 3 and the book can go on and on indefinitely. I would rather the entire book and know it's $20 and I can read it at my leisure, not having to wait for more parts to be written.