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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book lengths—short or long?

I grew up reading books that were long—at least 500 pages. Stephen King’s books were double that length. I loved to make my book last at least a week or more. Finishing a book in a day or two disappointed me because the experience of that fictional world had ended. But that was then and things have changed.

With the rise of ebooks, I’ve noticed that readers prefer shorter novels or short stories to the long novels I grew up reading. I don’t think this is only because of ebooks, but also because of the competition for time with other forms of media like numerous television programs, video games and social media sites. I’m an avid reader and find it difficult to make time to read.

This has me thinking about my future book projects. I’m working on a new book and I’m trying to decide if I should keep it at about 60,000 words or keep going to 100,000 words. If I keep the story as a short novel, then it probably won’t be released in print due to the shorter length. I have to decide if I’m satisfied with having the story only in ebook formats. I also need to decide if the story is complete at 60,000 words without sacrificing the story quality just so I can keep it short. Staying true to my story is always my main goal.

With that being said, I would still like to know if readers like longer novels or is this the era of the short novel?

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!
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A Greek vampire, Celtic kings, vengeful goddesses, an ancient faery curse…
All three books of my Dark Goddess trilogy are available in Print and Ebook. Set in dark age Scotland, I mixed history with a Samhain/Beltaine myth that revolves around an Irish clan and the goddesses Brigit and Cailleach.


Pooks said...

I'm here via the novelspot thread on facebook. In response to your question--I just wrote a 200,000 epic fantasy so I do wish the longer novels would come back into vogue!

As for what I prefer, it depends on the book. I do love long books when they're good and worth the time involved in reading.

EV Medina said...

I agree with you, Kelley. Seems like the smaller novels or novellas seem to sell better unless you are a big named author. I am also writing a new book and thinking about about how big it should be. Realmwalkers was 460 pages big but now I think I will try to make my next book half that size... maybe even less.