Sunday, December 4, 2011

Novellas and short novels

One of the things I've noticed is that a lot of the novel submissions I get sent for Hukilau feel like they're too long, as if they've been padded out to hit the publishers' sweet spot of 80,000 words, when in reality they'd be better as short novels, or even novellas.

Print publishers don't like short books. They take about as much work to create and market, but they don't generate as much money. And readers like to buy big books so they feel they've got their money's worth. When I was first reading, I was used to novels of 150 pages. Now most publishers won't even touch anything under 300 pages, and some genres seem to demand even more.

E-books, on the other hand, don't have that sort of prejudice. I'm wondering whether e-books are going to spark a revival in shorter forms.  Any thoughts?