The Mini-Books

Wyvern's Mate, book #1 in the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeI’ve had a couple of questions about the print editions of Wyvern’s Mate, so it’s clearly time for a post on them.

The Dragons of Incendium series has a different format than Dragonfire. It’s a different series, set in a different world, so can be based on a different premise—and have a different structure. The main stories in this series are novellas, and each novella is a romance. In between the release of each novella will be a short story. Because there are lots of characters in this world—twelve dragon-shifter princess sisters, to start with, never mind those eleven princes of Regalia—there are a lot of interpersonal relationships to explore. There’s also a fair bit of worldbuilding. So, my idea is that each novella or story will reveal a slice of the world, but that you’ll build an understanding of Incendium over the series, as well as see those interpersonal relationships develop and evolve. I’m hoping that this will be a very long-running series, with a novella published every quarter and a short story in between each novella.

This is the kind of storytelling adventure that is well-suited to digital publication, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to experiment like this. (I’m having a lot of fun writing the stories, too.) The trick is that many of you like print editions, so I had to consider how best to present these stories in print editions.

Many of you like the mass market format, but that is only available through traditional publishers, who have distribution relationships with bricks-and-mortar bookstores. The only option available to me right now is print-on-demand. The cost structure of POD is such that it works best in trade paperback format.  A full length book of 100,000 words, for example, can be formatted into a trade paperback of 300 pages or so. The POD book can be priced at $14.99US which is comparable to a trade paperback edition from a traditional publisher. Although there are smaller trim sizes available in POD, the costs are consistent—even when the size is closer to a mass market paperback (the exact size isn’t an option) the price is very nearly the same as for a trade paperback. I doubt that anyone would pay more than $10 for a mass market book, which is why I and many other indie authors favor the trade paperback size.

BUT Wyvern’s Mate is a novella, which opens an interesting possibility. There is a format available in POD called a mini-book, which has a 4″ by 6.5″ trim size. They are cute little books. One downside is that this size can only be distributed through Amazon and Createspace. On the upside, the pricing works out in a more appealing way, given the length of the story. For example, the mini-book of Wyvern’s Mate (which includes the short story Nero’s Dream) is 188 pages. The spine is a little less than 1/2″ deep. This book is priced at $6.99 US. I really like the look of this format—here’s a picture of the mini-book on top of a copy of Flashfire:

Wyvern's Mate by Deborah Cooke minibook print edition

There’s about 1/8″ difference in size in each dimension.

Here’s another shot, this time of the spines:

Wyvern's Mate by Deborah Cooke minibook edition

The mini-book is thinner. Wyvern’s Mate is a novella, so the work is shorter.

And here’s a shot of the interiors:

Wyvern's Mate by Deborah Cooke minibook interior

It looks as if I chose a font that is a little bit smaller than that used in the Dragonfire novels. The POD edition is printed on cream paper, which improves the readability, and the paper used in POD is also thicker. The show-through from the type on the next page is much less in the POD book than the mass market one.

Now, I know that this format won’t suit everyone, but it provides a way to have each individual story available in print.With mass market unavailable as a format, we must find alternatives.

I will also compile anthologies for the Dragons of Incendium: each group of three novellas, with the intervening short stories, will be bundled together in print and digital editions. The print edition will be POD in trade paperback format, the same size as Serpent’s Kiss. Because of the length of the anthology, the pricing will likely be $19.99US or less for this anthology in print. I’d like it to be closer to $14.99, but we’ll have to wait and see how it works out once the page count is finalized. This trade paperback edition will be available from all online portals. You can expect the anthologies to be available several months after the last book in the series is published, probably concurrent with the first book in the next trilogy of novellas.

The mini-book print edition of Wyvern’s Mate is available now from Amazon and Createspace. The digital edition is available for pre-order at all major online portals and will ship June 14—buy links are on the Dragons of Incendium site, right here.

4 thoughts on “The Mini-Books

  1. The mini-books sound like an excellent deal. I’ll be buying the ebook version first to be sure I like the series as much as I did Dragonfire. One question though. Will the short Nero’s Dream also be in the Kindle version of Wyvern’s Mate?

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    • No, Nero’s Dream will be a 99 cent short story. It’s only the mini-book print editions that will combine one novella with one short. The anthologies will include three novellas and three shorts. 🙂

      Nero’s Dream is done and ready to be formatted, but I’m waiting on the cover. Once that’s done, it’ll go up for a July pre-order.

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