Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ebooks and "Print Length"

I noticed a new statistic in Amazon's Kindle Store, "Print Length", which estimates the length of ebooks "based on the page size of a paperback book". Putting aside that paperbacks come in different sizes, I can appreciate the stat's intent, to give me a better idea of the amount of content than does memory size (which is influenced by cover image size). However, for the ebooks I've published so far, the stat is misleading.

Amazon has assigned the 32-poem ebook of The Lineup #4 a "Print Length" of fifteen pages. If I hadn't read the poems, I'd flinch: $2.99 for fifteen pages? Amazon assigns my 3-story ebook First In, Last Out thirteen pages, my 3-story ebook Stones seven pages, and my own 24-poem, $1.99 ebook We Might Have five pages.

"Print Length" doesn't tell you poetry cuts to the heart of things. It doesn't tell you how much action I deliver in few words. It doesn't tell you my C.J. Stone stories rely as much on what isn't told as what is. I invite you to read sample poems from The Lineup #4. Read "Gypped" from Stones, or listen to four poems from We Might Have. By all means, decide for yourself whether the books are worth your money.

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