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Topic: New page length for Harlequins

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Subject: New page length for Harlequins
Date Posted: 3/4/2008 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2007
Posts: 4,665
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To any of you series romance readers out there--Have you noticed that the March offerings are now running around 215 pages, and does that bother you?  I for one am really annoyed at the shorter length.  I thought the +/- 250 pages was about as short as it could get and still have good story/character development.

I was told by some authors on a couple of the Yahoo groups that corporate decided to make the font bigger, therefore the length shorter because people were complaining that these books were too hard to read.  (I really can't see that the new font size is any bigger than the old font size.)  The author also cited the rising costs of just about anything associated with the book processing business--like what else is new!!

I guess I just needed to vent.  I'll see how I like the shorter length.  I'll be starting one today.  If they are just too short for me, I guess I'll really have to dig into my BIG TBR pile and read those.

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 4:51 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 24,714
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I hadn't picked up a new one yet, Kathy.  I'll have to check that out!  It does seem like it would skimp the story!

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 5:52 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2006
Posts: 167
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I did notice that with the last set of new BLAZES they were about 215 pages instead of the 248 they used to be. Prices are the same however !!  LOL

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 6:15 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2007
Posts: 4,665
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Yes, Susan, the priced NEVER goes down, does it!

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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Just like everything else these days...downsizing and up-pricing.

Sherri

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2006
Posts: 173
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I've read several categories lately where they end about 10-15 pages earlier than usual and then have excerpts from other books.  It was kind of annoying because I was expecting a more detailed ending and they seemed sorta rushed.  Not sure if the author couldn't drag it out more or if advertising other books took priority.  Or maybe it was a transition to this new shorter length. 

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I prefer closer to 280-300 pages and as someone else said, if they'd leave out their advertising for all the upcoming stuff they'd save space right there..one book I was reading the other day had over 20 pages of stuff at the end...

Date Posted: 3/5/2008 12:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2005
Posts: 356
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I've already seen one of the authors comment she's not happy about it either, trying to figure out what to cut now and perhaps leading to more rushed endings.   Sure, sacrifice story quality to get in more advertising pages.

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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The length of the book was the primary reason I stopped reading series books.  Even at 250 pages, it didn't feel sufficient to me and I prefer between 300 - 350 pages.  But with the new lower page count, I definitely won't be going back unless it is a favorite author's backlist book.

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 4:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/21/2005
Posts: 989
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I tried to read one the other day that i had bought awhile ago from our library sale, the first chapter was so rushed, like it was trying to cram the characters entire life history on just one page of the book and that kind of turned me off. They definitely are not like the older series romances.

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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sigh..I guess they're gonna start leaving out the foreplay...

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2007
Posts: 250
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LOL! Too funny Susanna!

Date Posted: 3/6/2008 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2007
Posts: 1,646
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I don't read harlequins, but it sounds like they're getting chintzy.  Saving paper?  They haven't reduced the price, have they?  I'd complain to the publisher and say you're being shortchanged.   Next they'll be doing the Cliff's Notes version if you don't complain!



Last Edited on: 3/6/08 7:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/6/2008 7:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2007
Posts: 4,665
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Claudia,  I have been mulling over just doing that.  I'm really incensed that they cut the story by 14% (my husband did the math, not me, LOL).  I enjoy a shorter book and I thought 250 pages was pushing it, but I just think around 215 pages is a long short story, and I don't like short stories!!

I know the little people (us) have virtually no voice, but you have given me the impetus to send an e-mail to the Harlequin people and let them know how I feel.  I'll probably still read them, because I enjoy them, but I definitely won't buy them new.

 

Date Posted: 3/7/2008 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/12/2008
Posts: 4,470
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This is ridiculous. I read Harlequins because the longer, mainstream romances tend to be too long, needlessly overly descriptive & add extra unnecessary characters to the story, just to fill out the necessary page length.

Harlequins are a nice size, as is. In fact, with the more complicated storylines & complexity of characters, they are sometimes a little too short. I feel like the scenes where they grow to really know each other & that moment when you can tell they fell in love are either missing, or was rushed. 35 pages are a lot of story being cut. :-(

I guess I will really have to keep my eye out for older Harlequins sold at my FOL sales.



Last Edited on: 3/7/08 9:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/8/2008 3:35 PM ET
Member Since: 3/24/2007
Posts: 4,665
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Jan, I couldn't agree with you more.  I'm reading one now and I'm about 100 pages into it and the story already seems rushed.  The pacing is off or something .  I have a large back stock of books in the TBR mountain, so I guess I'll move them forward and leisurely read them and savor them.  As soon as I sign off here, I'm going to e-mail the powers that be at Harlequin and voice my opinion--not that it will do any good.