I've been working on a lot of edits to To Kill the Goddess lately and I'm at this phase where I'm doing a lot of really down and dirty editing. In the process, I find myself thinking about the structure of my book in ways I haven't previously focused on. One result of new focus is some rather serious changes to the arc of one of my characters, which I've talked about here. Another result is this bizarre idea:
What if I were to split my book up into three separate books?
Let me back up a for a moment. At this point I'm 99% certain that I will self publish To Kill the Goddess. This means, at least at the outset, that I'll be going entirely digital. Furthermore, my last version of To Kill the Goddess clocked in at roughly 130,000 words. That's one porker of a book. It's not long because it's bloated and full of unnecessary fluff, I just need that much space to give each of my five separate point of view characters the the fair shake that they deserve.
Now back to my crazy idea. Most books these days are around 70,000 to 80,000 words. That means To Kill the Goddess is nearly the size of two books all by itself. In addition, my outline has, for a long time now, split To Kill the Goddess into three separate parts, each about 45,000 words. In some ways, these parts almost work like acts of a play. Part one introduces most of the characters and defines what at stake. In part two, plot lines begin to intersect and the story evolves. And in part three, as I like to say, the shit hits the fan.
Individually, those three parts would each be a little on the short side for a full novel, and no, the first two wouldn't be self-contained, nor would they achieve much resolution, and yet… why not split them up? Where does it say you have to tell a story all in one chunk? Comics don't do it. Neither do series. Did the Wheel of Time ever actually end?
Remember, were talking digital here. I don't have to worry about printing, or contracts, or any of the other issues if traditional publisher would have to deal with. All I have to do is format three different files and send them in.
The biggest question I have is how the mass public react to an idea like this because, as far as I know, it hasn't been done. Although it seems like it could have appeal. For example, someone could try out part one for $1.99 and if they didn't like it then they wouldn't have to buy any more. Or, I could give away part one on a promotional basis and then charge $1.99 for each of the other two parts. I'm sure someone will complain and say I'm just trying to make an extra buck, but there are a lot of e-books out there selling for a completely asinine amount of money and I guess if somebody wants to complain about paying $5.97 for all three parts of my book then there's really nothing I can do about that.
Anyway, it's all just an idea at this point. Just one of the many rolling around in my head as I look into the Wild West of self-publishing and wonder what the hell I'm getting myself into!