Monday, January 21, 2013

Short, Category, or Full?

Buy Lace, Lightning & Multiple Orgasms HERE

by Azura Ice

Short fiction. Novellas. Category-length novels. Full Novels...

I write many novella and category-length novels. It seems as though these two lengths sell really well in the indie publishing world. My theory is this—people take their e-readers on the run, so they probably prefer shorter fiction. I see their point, too. Bus rides, train rides, turns commuting with neighbors driving into the city, subway trips, lunch hours, flights to other states all make good reasons to open a 30K novella on your iPad, Kobo, or Kindle. It’s read in one sitting.

But what about longer works? The—dare I utter the words?—full novel?

Like I was saying...I write novellas, and since writing for Decadent, I’ve been penning category-length novels of late, too. Of course each publisher usually has its own standard of what constitutes a novella, etc., but overall the lengths are relatively close.

This is just a guideline, so it’s not cut into stone, but it’ll give you an idea if you’re unfamiliar with the book lengths.

Short story - 3K to 7K
Novelette - 7K to 15K
Novella  - 15K to about 35K
Category length – 35K to about 50K
Novel – 50K and up

But what about the novel? Do you read long works? Do you have time? Also, do you think the full novel is a dying breed?

Personally, I feel the novel is geared for a different category of readers. There are the Readers On the Run, and then there are what I call the Sedentary Readers, the ones who don’t have to race here and there, so they read on their porch during the heat of the day or they lounge in the tub for a couple of hours or even read for a long time before turning the light.

I love it when I find a full novel that yanks me into the book and won’t let go until I read ‘the end.’ I’m writing one now that I hope to send to my agent very soon, but as I write it, I’m always working on shorter manuscripts and tossing around ideas for another 1 Night Stand book.

Decadent Publishing has developed a large readership following the 1 Night Stand books. They’re all awesome tales full of sexiness and wonderful characters. I’ve recently submitted another manuscript for this series—this one a paranormal m/m with steampunk elements—so my fingers are crossed, but until then you’ll find my first one, Lace, Lightning and Multiple Orgasms, at Decadent and most other e-book distributors. 

Grab a copy of it and while you do, pick up a few written by my fellow 1 Night Stand authors too.


  1. the reason i love shorter works opposed to full length novels is that if i get to caught up in what i'm reading it only take me say an hour to get to the end. Novels while i love them to bits drive me nuts some times because i end up wasting days reading one book and i get frustrated when i have to stop reading to do normal things like sleep. ;)

  2. I mainly read on ereaders now in short bites. I love the 1Night Stand stories. LOVE them. But I also like full-length novels. Even if I have to take them in short gulps and they take longer to read... but lately, I find that the really long novels I reserve for fave authors. I would not mind reading a 500-page plus J.R.Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood book...would inhale it, in fact. But for me to indulge in a really long book these, or its author, have to have proven track record.

  3. Well darn it, I just posted a comment and it didn't show up.

    Anyway, with the way people are so busy nowadays, especially moms, and all the running around we have to do for kids, etc., I totally get why we feel guilty when we can't put down a huge novel. However, I do love a good novel!

  4. I love them will! Like on an evening when its time to start a new book I'll go to a short read so I get to read it all and get some sleep (otherwise I'll be up all night reading) then I love category and novellas on those weekend night reads when I get to read it all no matter the hour but then I love a novel length book! Rich read where I'll get to read the romance, with all the ups and downs, all those times spent together and so much more! So for me, they all work with my preferences, days and nights lol!

  5. LOL, I wish the world had more readers like you!

  6. I read all lengths. Right now, I'm reading a novel, but just finished a bunch of shorts and novellas. Sometimes, when I'm reading a novel, I'll also fit in some shorties. LOL

  7. Shorts and novellas are preferred for my reader, for sure. Most of the time I manage to squeeze in for reading is when the hubs is in a tool shop and I'm left waiting in the car (i can read a novella in the twenty minutes it takes him to find what he wants) or a quickie short while waiting in the docs office. Or before I go to bed, which is when I prefer novella. But I read all lengths, whatever appeals to me at the time of hitting that buy button. But it does take me much longer to get to those fulls.

  8. Looks fantastic. I love to read any length so long as the book grabs my attention :P

  9. It seems short stories sell well because they are also cheaper, and readers can "test" out new authors. I like both shorts and full lengths, but with full lengths actual books work better. Less eyestrain. With shorts, it's a good way to squeeze reading into my hectic schedule.

    Best of luck on sales!

  10. I kick back with full novels when I want to read. Sorry, not just investing my dollar, I'm investing my time, and that's far more precious to me. I want long stories, with well developed plots and characters. But I also want a story with great pace, tension and a story that moves along and takes me away from the ordinary.

    When I'm trying out a new to me author, I always go for their shorts first, to see if I like their writing style and stories--if they have them. I've passed on authors when they don't have shorts or novellas.

  11. As a reader my preference is Science Fiction Romance, so I tend to buy novels of over 100,000 words where I know the author had adequate word count to invest in rich, imaginative worldbuilding and develop complex characters, plot and sub-plots. But I'll occasionally buy shorter works if a blurb or excerpt really intrigues me.

    I love Caffey's idea of choosing story length to fit the available reading time. I'll have to give that a try.

  12. For me it truly depends on the day and what is going on. If I am currently in the midst of a semester of Grad school (as I am now), then I can take a break, read a 1NS or two, then go back to what I was doing with a clear head. If I am too tired from working that day, I can read a quick story.

    I also enjoy reading full length novels and series that are full length. Sometimes it takes me more than a couple days to read one, but when life calms at the end of a semester, then I can read a full length book within a day or two.

    Sometimes after reading a series, a short story or two is a good break to clear the mind.

  13. I like to read books of all lengths. It's interesting that you did this topic because while I got mostly good reviews for my last book, a couple of the reviews mentioned that they felt cheated because it was only about 150 pages long...but that was 50,000+ words! The sequel is only about 36,000 words, so I guess that one will get the same reviews.

    I just figure that with today's hectic schedules, sometimes you need a short read, sometimes you have the leisure for a longer one. And I agree that shorter reads, like free reads, let readers try out new authors.

    Personally I like books that can hold my interest well enough that I look forward to squeezing in a few minutes to read...say in-between my 2 jobs, or during my break or lunch half-hour. Your books do that well!

  14. I've written far more full length novels than shorts. I do think though that shorts sell better. I'll read any length but with no plot, and no appealing characters the writer will lose me as a reader.

  15. I do the same thing re fitting in shorter pieces of fiction around a novel, Jessica.

    Luckily, my hubby is one of those grabe-it-and-go guys. I seldom have to wait on him.

    Olivia, that's an excellent point about eye strain!

    I do the same thing, DL, when trying a new author's work.

    Laurie, I think the last really long novel that I read like that was probably King's Dreamcatcher.

    Although I love a good novel, my reading time is a lot like yours, Twimom22580. So I totally understand where you're coming from!

    Fiona, the reviews like that will say the opposite if you write a full novel, 'this could've been cut in half' or something along those lines. Trust me, I've been there.

    I've been writing a lot of novellas, Barbara, and I've been getting the same responses as Fiona where reviews say 'wish this had been longer.' I guess that old adage about one not pleasing everyone every time is true!

    Thank you all for taking the time to read and comment!!! :-D