A Question About Chapter Numbers

This post was originally sent to my TinyLetter subscribers.

I have two pieces of news for you! Or… like… one news and one question.

The news is for people who have not yet read The Biographies of Ordinary People: Volume 1: 1989–2000; the question is for people who have.

NEWS: Biographies Vol. 1 is on sale for $1.99.

It is exactly four months since I published Biographies Vol. 1, which means the book is no longer “recently published” and it is time to run a sale promotion.

I did a blog post on Nicole Dieker Dot Com on how I set up the sale and what I’ve learned so far, but the most important information from that blog post is that the Biographies Vol. 1 ebook is on sale for $1.99 through Friday, September 29.

That’s FIFTY PERCENT OFF.

Here are your links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

Fun question: when is Google/Alphabet just going to merge with Amazon because they both want the same thing and they both already have names that deal with A to Z?

That wasn’t the question I was going to ask you, though.

Here it is:

QUESTION: Should Biographies Vol. 2 start with Chapter 1, or Chapter 71?

So I originally wrote The Biographies of Ordinary People as one book, and then it became one enormous book and I decided to publish it in two volumes. (The Vol. 1 paperback still feels pretty enormous when I hold it; it’s larger than the other books on my shelf and the print is smaller. Also, that’s your opening to tell me that the print is too small to read comfortably and I should make it bigger for the second volume. And… for the first volume. I can re-release it.)

Now that I’m revising Vol. 2, I keep turning over the first page, the one that reads “Part 3: 2004–2009,” and thinking “I need to change that to Part 1.”

Except it isn’t Part 1. It’s Part 3. Especially when you consider the role it plays in the larger two-volume story. (This is the scherzo movement. The curtain opening after intermission. We are starting the story with the characters both in media res and in flux.)

I’m working on a note to go at the beginning of the book that basically reads “I love you all, but if you haven’t read Volume 1, you need to go do that first,” and I am already thinking about how I can get Kindle to ACTUALLY SHOW READERS THAT NOTE instead of automatically opening the book to the first page of Chapter 1, WHY DOES KINDLE DO THAT, SOME OF US LIKE TO READ THE FRONT MATTER BEFORE WE READ THE BOOK, THAT IS WHY THE FRONT MATTER IS THERE.

Anyway. So with this note and with the larger “this is one book in two volumes” concept, do I have to change Part 3 to Part 1?

And… does that mean I should call the first chapter “Chapter 71” instead of “Chapter 1?”

I want readers to understand where we are in the characters’ lives and to get at least a subconscious sense of what to expect re: rising and falling action.

But I don’t want it to seem clever. It won’t work if people think I’m just doing it to be clever.

So… what do you think?

And if you don’t have an opinion because you haven’t read Volume 1 yet, well… it is currently on sale for $1.99. ❤️

 

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