August 21, 2012
I’m not sure how many of you are aware, but in the past month Penguin Group (InterMix) released a serialized story, BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE written by Beth Kery. In the past, Beth has written for Ellora’s Cave and I believe currently still writes for Harlequin also. Beth’s last full-length release was WICKED BURN–which I did sample–and I can tell you this, Beth writes some very very hot stuff.
Well BECAUSE YOU ARE MINE is being doled out to readers in 8 parts, 2 chapters a piece for the price of $1.99 each. All said this entire novel will cost readers a whopping $15.92. Yeah, not a big fan of this at all. I have a threshold of how much money I will spend on a single novel and this definitely exceeds it. But none of this is hidden from readers. They know this going in so we can’t say it’s been done in an underhanded way. However, despite that, many of the reviews are pretty brutal and readers are blaming the author for that.
Now for those of you who don’t know this, most authors have no say in things like their cover art, their book’s release date, the format (mmpb, trade, hardcover) and in this case, the way the digital book is segmented. Sure, they may have spoken to the author about it, but in the end, that decision is probably made my the publishing company, not the author.
Just taking a look at some of the reviews from Amazon and Apple, I saw a lot of 1 and 2 star reviews based, not on how much or if the reader enjoyed the 2 chapter segment, but how annoyed they were that they felt the author was trying to cheat them by doling out the book the way it’s being doled out. As I said, while the book segments appear to be selling well, there does appear to be some bad will setting in and that ire is directed at the author, which I really don’t think is fair.
Now I could be 100% wrong and discover it was Beth who insisted on this format or when brought to her was all on board to do it but given the blow back, which in this case, is not unexpected, I’d be surprised about that. Some readers have given up reading the series and have vowed they will not buy another of Ms. Kery’s books. Of course that is their prerogative, to each his own and all that good stuff. Me, personally, well I knew I didn’t like the way the book was being released. I’ve tried those free online chapter deals before and never stay interested in the book long enough to remember to come back for the next chapter, much less the one after that. I knew I would only consider purchasing it when Penguin Group was offering it up in one single novel format.
Is this an experiment by Penguin Group? Yeah, I definitely believe that it is. Will it succeed? Who knows but I hope this isn’t a coming trend. Despite the fact that there’s millions of books out there to read, there are only a small segment that appeal to me–and I think I’ve read most at this point. I’d hate to see that pool of possibilities get smaller just because the publishers wants to feed it to me in pieces.
What about you, would you buy a digitized serialized novel that would total more than twice the average price of a book? And do authors deserve the blame when readers disapprove the manner in which their book is being distributed? Comment and enter to win a digital copy of WICKED BURN.