Writing Trends: Are indie stories getting shorter?
What's with all the novella serials?

Lately, I have the feeling that many books I add to my tbr only have around 200 pages (60k words) -- and not around 300 pages (100k words) and more, like novels used to be. Especially self-published works, I think. Am I imagining things? Or are more of you noticing this? I don't think it's likely that all writers are suddenly more down to the point in style, so how come? I can't quite explain it.

What actually bothers me about it is the labelling. I buy an indie book that says novel on it, or is not explicitly labelled a novella, and only get 200 pages for it. Err... I don't feel like 60k words are a novel, sorry. I'm not saying you can't tell a good story in 60k words, you can!, but I feel a little cheated. And Seller 101 says, you don't want the people who pay good money for your product -- who you want to continue spending money on your products! -- feel cheated. Just saying.

Furthermore, I keep getting novellas that piece together a whole novel, instead of being intallments in a series. What's up with that? I get it if it'd otherwise be an overlength novel, like 500 and more pages. In the new age of self- and digital publishing, that's a good strategy, and it also makes sense if maybe the ending isn't written yet. Example: Snapped by Ketley Allison. But to do it just because the option is accessable? A full story, torn in parts, that are then published only a week apart (Example: The Other Fighter by Hawkeye & Stokes)? I don't get that at all, sorry. Does anyone want to clue me in?

It actually hurts me to see a perfectly fine story torn to pieces, not to mention that it annoys me to no end having to search for the next file on my eReader. I made a seperate folder for Snapped, and even added a text file with the reading order, so I wouldn't have to look it up on the web every time I finished one. Not what I call user-friendly! Is this bothering anyone else, too? Or is it just me, because I only organize in big labels like TBR - r2r - Paranormal - NA contemp - Adult? Either way, it's annoying me, and I wish it'd trend back to all-in-one-go-file stories to save me some nerves. Pretty please??

2 thoughts on “[Discussion] Indie Author Shortness and Novella Serials”

  1. I totally get that you're annoyed when a novel is split into multiple parts for no apparent reason. I'm jsut not a fan of serialised fiction, be it in newspapers or multiple installments you have to buy like regular ebooks. I'd rather have the whole story right away and read at my own pace.
    The other point you bring up, the 60k novels are something I don't mind so much. I've read quite a few books in that range during the last year and enjoyed most of it. But nearly all of it was literary fiction, more character study than plot-driven novel, so quite frankly there wasn't enough happening to fill a longer novel. I don't know how I would feel about the length in a more plot-heavy genre. Having said that, I can't really see you getting the emotional depth as well as the well-crafted plot in a novel of that length. So I guess, for every genre other than literary fiction, I'd prefer a longer novel or a shorter piece of fiction that isn't trying to do the same as a 300-plus page novel, as I quite enjoy short fiction.

    1. That's exactly it with the 60k -- I expect to have 300 or more pages time to get to know the world, the characters, and see some development, but then suddenly it's crammed into 200 pages, trying to have the same effect. That works for some light reading, or some genres, but not for everything. I always feel like something is lacking, because you simply can't fit the same amount of detail in half the pages. So I wish it won't trend to be the new status quo.

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