A Pamphlet? A Novella? A Novelette?

I visited the Writer’s Cafe, which is the KDP forum for writers the other day. I noticed the comment of one writer because of his book covers (featured below his name). They were all the same, except for the tag line. In other words, they were all entitled Mary and the Magic Mop (that’s a fake title as you’ve already figured out), but then under this huge title was Book 1: the beginning, Book 2: the conflict, etc.

I HATE when authors do that, but that’s not the issue here.

Each book was 68-79 pages long. Y’all, I do not consider that a book. It’s a short story. Maybe, maybe, maybe a novella. The standard book length (which is difficult to measure with ebooks) is 250 words per page, so that comes out to 17,000 – 19,750 words. Nope, not enough to qualify for a novella, certainly not enough for a book. His price was $3.99 for each of the 4 books. Add them all together and they’d be a normal sized book, if a short one. For the low, low price of $15.96.

Here’s why that annoys the heck out of me: the author strikes me as one of those people who saw the potential of making money by being a writer and puts overpriced stuff on Amazon for just that reason. To hell with the reader. But, I may be all wet on that impression.

Do you look at the size of a book before you buy it? Would you buy something that short for $3.99? Does it simply depend on the book or the author?

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “A Pamphlet? A Novella? A Novelette?”

  1. I check out the size when given the opportunity. I would expect a story that short to be priced at $.99 and NO MORE. I also would want to know it’s a SERIAL, not a book with a HFN ending. I detest cliffhangers! That’s actually one of the things I dislike about kindle books…no page count! And their location numbers do not add up to page numbers with any conversion factor I can find anywhere! I wanna know when I open a book if it going to have fast pacing to get to the end of a quick story or if it’s going to be a long savoring story to develop over the pages. Sometimes I need to know how long it will take me to read through it if I’m working on ARC deadlines…Can’t happen with a kindle book with no page numbers, sigh…So in answer to your question $3.99 for less than 100 pages — TOTAL RIP OFF and I’d never buy another book from that author again!!!

  2. I look at the size of the book. Too small not really a book. Maybe a short story. I read the first and last page to see if it catches my fancy.

  3. With some authors I like I don’t let the no. of pages deter me from ordering them or picking them up. If I like an author I tend to BUY all of their books, no matter how much (as I do yours, paperback only). I can’t wait to read your 2 new books. Thanks again for including he pictures of Sir Stanley. He is so cute!!

    I have tooo many paperback books now, due to my buying all of favorite authors and have started getting e-books on my phone.

    Please keep on writing your fabulous books. I wish I could cuddle with Stanley at least once.

  4. OK – first of all, one should not value books (works of art) by the length. After all, that would make War and Peace the best book ever —I could not even finish it. I realize that makes me a barbarian.

    Second of all, writers are special and talented people, so we should cut them some slack.

    Third of all, I do look at the length of some books in order to see whether the cost is more than I can afford for a short story.

    I live on a very strict budget. I have to spend my money wisely.

    But, for me the bottom line is, I am not thrilled by anyone who wants to try to fool the public into buying a pig in a poke. I don’t care whether it is a book which is going for more than the value would be ordinarily or a package at the grocery store which is getting smaller but selling for the same price.

    Now, this is a secret which I have discovered, so none of you are allowed to share it.

    Toilet paper is getting shorter. At one time, rolls were taller than they are now. I reckon those people must be saving a ton of money by making them shorter but charging the same or in some cases even more.

  5. I agree with you about the books being way overpriced. I do look at the size of books before buying them, and would never pay that much for such a small book.

  6. I agree with you Karen and, yes, I look at the size of the book before buying. I’ve seen books listed as only having 30-40 pages and selling for $2.99. Uh, no. I’m on a budget and, while I don’t mind reading shorter stories, I’m not paying that much for it.

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