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Question about Harlequin books, please help.
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gabrielle



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: Question about Harlequin books, please help. Reply with quote

Hi everyone,
What is the most amount of pages written in harlequin romance books these days. From what I could glance it seems that the thicker books (harlequin superromance) have two stories in the one book instead of them being the one story they used to be way back when. I haven't read these books in at least 20 years so I am unfamiliar with them now but would like to try reading them again only I prefer over 300 pages in the one story. Where would I go to shop for these books online, providing they still write them this way.

Cheers
Very Happy
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the SuperRomance books still have 304 pages, the last time I looked.

Word count varies, because they change the print size, sometimes, to get the standard page count.
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LinnieGayl



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gabrielle, I've purchased a lot of Superromances at Amazon.com
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Rosario



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 328
Location: Liverpool, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harlequin Historicals are also about 300 pages.
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1077
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Harlequin Historicals are also about 300 pages.


They are either down, or going down, to about 288. Sometimes also extracts in the back will drop the page count of the book even further.

Elizabeth - cutting madly.
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Karen Templeton



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Superromances are one story per book -- that two-fer must have been a special release deal -- but they're a LOT shorter than they were twenty years ago, when they could be as long as a regular single title (around 90,000 words). Now they're down to around 70,000 words -- you can't tell from the page count how long a book is, really. Since Special Editions have gone from around 250 pages to 228, I imagine Supers now have fewer pages, too. They're still the longest of the Har/Silhouette contemporary lines, though.

FWIW.

Karen T.
http://www.karentempleton.com
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1241
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best online place to examine and purchase Harlequin and Silhouette romances is:

eHarlequin.com

If you buy enough at one time, shipping is FREE. The prices are less if you buy on line than if you buy in a book and mortar store as well. Also you can opt for Bill Me and don't have to pay until the books arrive.

I just purchased six books from eHarlequin for just under $30.00. I have been extremely satisfied with their wares and service.

Kay
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LLB



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 869
Location: Dallas, Texas

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Question about Harlequin books, please help. Reply with quote

gabrielle wrote:
Hi everyone,
What is the most amount of pages written in harlequin romance books these days. From what I could glance it seems that the thicker books (harlequin superromance) have two stories in the one book instead of them being the one story they used to be way back when. I haven't read these books in at least 20 years so I am unfamiliar with them now but would like to try reading them again only I prefer over 300 pages in the one story. Where would I go to shop for these books online, providing they still write them this way.

Cheers
Very Happy


Gabrielle -

Probably ten years ago Harlequin increased the print size for Harlequin Historicals. They kept the page count the same, which meant that the actual word count decreased. I don't know if they did the same with other lines.
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gabrielle



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer and put me straight. I wish they were the same as they were back then. I can't remember any of the storylines I just know that I enjoyed them a great deal.

Oh well, times, they keep a'changin'. Shocked
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Rosario



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 328
Location: Liverpool, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elizabeth Rolls wrote:
Quote:
Harlequin Historicals are also about 300 pages.


They are either down, or going down, to about 288. Sometimes also extracts in the back will drop the page count of the book even further.

Elizabeth - cutting madly.

Really? Interesting. Do you know why that is? Is it a matter of costs or do they think slightly shorter will sell better?

Good luck with the cutting! Smile
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Karen Templeton



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Really? Interesting. Do you know why that is? Is it a matter of costs or do they think slightly shorter will sell better?


Combination of things, I think -- generally perceived notion that reader attention span is shorter, thinner books = more copies can be placed on shelves/lower shipping cost; foreign markets (which account for a big chunk of Har's profit) prefer shorter books b/c lower translation costs.

As an aside, I find the shorter books harder to write -- they take me nearly as long as the longer books (I'm now writing 25 percent shorter than I was three years ago), even though I generally feel as satisfied with the final product. And I don't mind at all that the line-edits and galleys take me far less time to go through.

But I'm sure at least some readers miss the meatier feel to the old SIMs and Supers and even SSEs, so wish they'd left at least one line at the old word count. Crying or Very sad

[url]Karen T.
http://www.karentempleton.com[/url]
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1077
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Combination of things, I think -- generally perceived notion that reader attention span is shorter, thinner books = more copies can be placed on shelves/lower shipping cost; foreign markets (which account for a big chunk of Har's profit) prefer shorter books b/c lower translation costs.


What she said Rolling Eyes . Thanks, Karen. And thank you, Rosario! I think it's all of the above, but also there is a perception that those of us over forty and into reading glasses will appreciate a slightly bigger point size. So if the point size goes up and the page count doesn't, and then the page count goes down, you get a drop in word count. I do tend to write long and cut if I have to. There's nothing more likely to freeze the flow of words onto the page than worrying about word count. Unfortunately my email has been playing up and I didn't get my poor editor's first two emails on the subject.

Elizabeth
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Elaine S



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 667
Location: Rural England

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elizabeth Rolls wrote:
Quote:
Combination of things, I think -- generally perceived notion that reader attention span is shorter, thinner books = more copies can be placed on shelves/lower shipping cost; foreign markets (which account for a big chunk of Har's profit) prefer shorter books b/c lower translation costs.


What she said Rolling Eyes . Thanks, Karen. And thank you, Rosario! I think it's all of the above, but also there is a perception that those of us over forty and into reading glasses will appreciate a slightly bigger point size. So if the point size goes up and the page count doesn't, and then the page count goes down, you get a drop in word count. I do tend to write long and cut if I have to. There's nothing more likely to freeze the flow of words onto the page than worrying about word count. Unfortunately my email has been playing up and I didn't get my poor editor's first two emails on the subject.

Elizabeth


Utterly patronising on the part of the editors and publishers. I'd prefer to get myself stronger reading glasses than read a book clearly truncated by some gormless editor especially when reading authors I really value and pay a little more for the book as well!
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Karen Templeton



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 298

PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In all fairness -- please don't blame the editors, many of whom are not happy about the changes, either. They don't set policy, only follow it as determined by marketing/higher ups.

Unfortunately, the best selling Har lines have always been the shorter ones -- Presents and Desire, especially. Authors' and some readers' -- druthers aside, the company has to keep a careful eye on what brings in the biggest profits, both in order to keep everyone employed and to please shareholders, especially in these financially shaky times.

I saw sales of my longer books for SIM take a HUGE nosedive the last couple of years I wrote for them; now that I'm writing shorter books for SSE, my sales have gone back up. Since the tone/content of my stories hasn't changed -- only the length -- I can't dismiss the change in sales figures out of hand. And the foreign markets definitely prefer the shorter formats -- it's always been harder to make foreign sales with longer books. Again, now that my books are shorter, I'm seeing more countries pick them up for translation.

If it's one thing I've learned -- the hard way -- over the past dozen years, it's that commercial fiction publishing is first and foremost a business. That doesn't mean I've gleefully embraced all the directions I've seen the business take during that time, or agreed with them. Certainly, I know some readers are feeling left out in the cold, and rightfully so. But after more than two dozen books, ten years and twenty royalty statements, I can't deny the numbers telling me what works and what doesn't -- at least, not well enough to sustain a financially viable career.

As a reader, as a writer, I ache for what's been lost, that -- at least right now -- with rare exception the meaty book doesn't have a big enough audience to make the risk worthwhile for most publishers. I hate how readers are being asked to pay more for less, of opening a book to see print that looks something a third-grader would be reading. To me, all that does is reinforce the image of romance readers being too dumb to tackle a "real" book, and it chaps my hide. And of course many readers here will say they'd give their left arm for a longer, more in depth book, but it would appear there simply are no longer ENOUGH of you guys to turn back the tide. Crying or Very sad

Karen T.
http://www.karentempleton.com
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Elizabeth Rolls



Joined: 26 Mar 2007
Posts: 1077
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'd prefer to get myself stronger reading glasses than read a book clearly truncated by some gormless editor especially when reading authors I really value and pay a little more for the book as well!


My editor does not truncate my books, nor is she gormless. She's certainly never patronised me. When I discussed possible changes with her, she kept saying things like "Not that bit!" As I said, I tend to write long anyway and cut. When I sent in the ms I mentioned that it was a bit long, but she says now she was caught up in the story and the length escaped her. I'd prefer to think of what I'm doing as tightening not truncating.

Like Karen I think it's a huge pity that the longer lines have been shortened, but editors do not set policy, marketing does and business is business. This is a fact of life when writing commercial fiction. If shorter books sell then that's what they want. This seems to be particularly true of Harlequin's readership. As Karen says, the shorter lines have always been the most successful. Also while some people are happy to pay more for a slightly larger book, most are not. They pick up a less expensive book. Although here in Australia we are so used to paperbacks being close to $20.00 that a grumble from a US reader about $7.99 elicits a moan of longing!
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