Welcome. This blog was started three years ago by four aspiring writers who are now three published authors of novels and short stories (Barbara Elsborg, Dawn Jackson, Arlene Webb) and one multiple award-winning writer (Laurie Green). We blog to keep readers updated on our new releases or other random topics. We hope you enjoy your stay. :] Coffee?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Long books

Does the length of a book matter when you choose what you want to read? The days of the bonk-busters are sort of over but every now and again, I come across an enormously long book by an author I like and have to do a hard think over whether to buy it. Last time I was in the States, I bought 'The Summer Garden' by Paullina Simons. I've read everything she's written. Loved them all. The Summer Garden is the third book in a trilogy about Alexander and Tatiana. It's a whopping 839 pages. Very hard to hold when you're lying in the sun!!! It was a great story and I was so invested in the lives of the characters by the end that I sobbed for the last 50 or so pages. Not because someone had died but because I couldn't stand to think that they might. After 839 pages I was in the story with them in a way I haven't found with shorter books. BUT I think you'd really need to be a fan of Ms Simmons to even buy this size of book in the first place. I saw a few reviews that claimed it was rather repetitive. I disagree. She built the world of their relationship in great detail and made me understand the strengths and weaknesses in their marriage. Maybe she didn't need 839 pages but I was hooked all the way through.


Dawn said...

I think the reason you don't see more is the cost and taking a chance with first time published authors is too risky. This is where "series" seems to come in. If the first is wildly successful, then they'll publish the rest. Sometimes I wonder if some of the series books we see, were orginally monster books chopped down so the publisher would take a chance. Look at Harry Potter for instance. The first was much smaller than the rest.

Dawn said...

Ooooh. I despise not being able to edit comments after you hit send.

I did want to mention one other thing along this line of thought. With the typical shelf life of a published book being 1-3 months and if the author is new, think of the chances the publishers take when stock can and will be returned if it doesn't sell as well as expected.
I think that's the reason you see publishers less likely to take the chance on a newbie with a thick book. Marketablility and profits. Nobody wants to lose money.

Laurie said...

I think I read somewhere that LoTR started out as one massive book. Can you imagine how thick that one was? :O

Dawn said...

You'd need a wheelbarrow to haul it to the beach. Yikes