With eBooks gaining popularity, there appears to be a trend of shorter style books called novellas entering the market. So what is causing this?
I attribute the change to several factors that I list below:
Without the overhead of printing books, there is much less cost involved in having a story available for sale. In addition, more and more authors are finding that more money can be made by posting the story themselves without the lengthy process of going through a publisher. Where an author would expect most of the income to go to all parties involved in getting the story published, he or she has the opportunity to post the story on their own, thus realizing a higher royalty. Because of this, an author has more flexibility in the cost of their story. With many people posting their own books for free or as low as .99 cents, authors are forced to sell their eBooks at lower prices. When books with 30,000 words (approximately 100 pages) are selling for the same price as full novels of 80,000 words or more, why wouldn’t an author move to writing novellas?
I attribute much of the success of the eReaders to the accessibility of new books and other writing. In addition, life has become so much faster paced, many people do not have the time to visit a bookstore and browse for a new book to read. People have become so accustomed to having what they need available to them at the moment they want it, the idea of having to drive to a store to buy a book is almost archaic. With an eReader, a book can be purchased and downloaded in a matter of seconds. This new breed of reader is more apt to buy a smaller book to enjoy in a sitting or two instead of having to expend more time and energy on a larger and more complex story. The average worker today is stressed with a poor economy, work that demands most of their energy, and hardships at home. The idea of a large novel that requires a lot of thought isn’t as appealing as it used to be whereas an enjoyable story that has a world where the reader can slip off to, away from the stresses of their world, is what they are craving.
Readers are not the only ones that benefit from the rise of the novella. Authors who embrace the movement will find that their novels can be split into multiple stories allowing for their work to be produced more quickly and as a result, income can be generated at a quicker pace then had the author wrote a full novel.
I’m sure there are those out there that are against the novella format. It certainly has its pros and cons. I choose to look at it more optimistically. I know my blog is a new blog and I’m sure I won’t get many responses yet, but I’d love to hear some different views on this. So what do you think? Is the novella good for the writing industry or is it bad? Are we going to see more of them or less?