Baby Got Books (a remix, credit to Jim Hines; a whine, credit to me)

Baby Got Books
by Jim C. Hines
(with apologies to Sir Mixalot)

I like big books and I cannot lie.
You other readers can’t deny
That when a kid walks in with The Name of the Wind
Like a hardbound brick of win.
Story bling.
Wanna swipe that thing
Cause you see that boy is speeding
Right through the book he’s reading.
I’m hooked and I can’t stop pleading.
Wanna curl up with that for ages,
All thousand pages.
Reviewers tried to warn me.
But with that plot you hooked
Me like Bradley.
Ooh, crack that fat spine.
You know I wanna make you mine.
This book is stella ’cause it ain’t some quick novella.

More here.

And now, I whine. I whine because I deliberately wrote a book, the first in an epic fantasy trilogy, that is a Big Book. 240,000 words long.  I knew it would be a tough sale so I kept that in mind when editing, and got it down to a svelte 200,000 words.  Now I’m going in again and even though I was advised by an agent that I’d really love to work with that I should cut it the word count in half, I can see that it’s not happening.  Beginning next Tuesday, January 3, 2011, I will be diving into a new edit/rewrite. I can make the story clearer and sharper.  I can improve and tighten the prose. These things I acknowledge. But it will not end up half the length, and I recognize that I simply don’t want it to.  I plotted a complex story that will take three volumes to tell, even at this length.  And I’m not willing to start cutting subplots and characters, because that is not the tale I want to tell.

So I’m glad there are still people who love big books.  I hope that mine will be some of them that make it into print. If not, they will end up ebooks and in that case word count won’t matter.

Big fat books. What’s not to love?

I like big books and I cannot lie...

And you? Do you have any big books you love? Do you still read big books or are you much more likely to buy shorter ones? Does size matter?

Big Book Bag available here.

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6 Comments

Filed under Fantasy, Writing, Writing daily, Writing Process

6 responses to “Baby Got Books (a remix, credit to Jim Hines; a whine, credit to me)

  1. Size only matters when I’m reading a great book and I don’t want it to end.

    • Same here. I even lugged Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell–hardcover–around England to read. I’ve never let size stop me from buying, though I know some people who do.

  2. denise

    I love books of all sizes

  3. Tim Miller

    “You can always cut more.”

    Sure, but you can’t always cut more and have it be the same book, the book you set out to write. Every book has its own ideal size, where every word contributes to the story you need to tell the way you need to tell it. Sometimes that’s a hundred pages. Sometimes it’s a thousand.

    • Right now the biggest resistance to Big Books is price. A thousand pages costs a heck of a lot in hardcover, and in mass market paperback it is so thick, they can only fit three in the rack that could hold six smaller books. So it has to be priced accordingly, and if you don’t have a big name that people already recognize and want to buy, it’s a gamble for a publisher. Make that a trilogy and it’s three times the gamble. I get that. So I get why there is a resistance.

      Still, a handful of those books do get bought and end up selling well and I am ready to take my shot at being one of that handful. And if that doesn’t work, well, Book View Cafe would be glad to publish it as an ebook for me, and they have great editors.

      A year ago I didn’t have that option. A year ago I didn’t think I’d ever get to finish writing this trilogy if it didn’t get picked up by a publisher. Wow, things change.

Hit me with it.

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