By Pat Gulley
With the success of all things ‘e’ in publishing doing so well, much has been written about the shorter novel. So, I thought I’d write a bit about old and older norms that are new again.
Seems the 100,000 word, over 300 page book is falling by the wayside, debunking the general assumption of big publishers that one size fits all. Younger readers, and a lot of older ones with eReader are much happier with less. Short stories are a bit longer, but books are getting shorter, leading to popularity of the novella.
Does this mean that the American reader’s attention span is shrinking? Some may say so as they deplore anything changing, but I’m not inclined to believe it. Mostly, I believe that we are all looking for a well told story and an interesting to-the-point article and we do not want a bunch of extraneous words because the publisher demands a certain word count.
Shorter should not mean less information, but making words count and have a broader meaning. It provides writers with a flexibility not seen in some time. Like around the time of the Gutenberg Printing Press, well no, just teasing about that. Another format that hasn’t been seen for a long time is Pamphleteering (almost a century) and quite a few writers are returning to it for ePub.
Granted some publishers have always preferred the 200 to 250 page novel, while others favored just over 300 pages. They all tend to be in a specific genre, while literary writers and publishers are appalled that you can’t write 50 pages on the beauty of your feet touching the gorgeous patina of wood while descending a 5-step staircase.
I’m not going to ask you to make a choice, just comment on what is being expected from you as a writer by your agents, editors or fans.
I’m away today, will be home Monday and will look in then, but Cindy is minding the posts today.