Would it help being discovered more easily or faster?
Do you have the time to wait for a magazine to buy your story and get it published?
Novellas provide a source of passive income for many indie writers. As long as you offer good quality, there is no one standing in your way, and there is room for everyone.
Novellas and novelettes seem to be in great demand these days, and seem to fit our busy lives better. In Japan, there are bins at each metro station. People buy a novelette and drop it in the bin at the end of the commute, to be recycled. I think we’re heading this way too.
For me, there are two factors that encourage novellas.
- We watch many TV shows these days. And TV shows influence the way we read. A 180 pages novella or a 100 pages novelette seems to emulate the same experience as watching a TV show. If a person reads 300 words a minute, then they can read a novella in one hour and a novelette in half that time. Most TV shows last between 20 and 45 minutes.
- Novellas may be series of stories that are loosely connected as in TV shows. The characters grow with each novella, the goals are clear, and the immediate problem resolved at the end. They are quick-paced and work like small episodes. Some Indie writers even use the TV shows format to sell their books. They have seasons and episodes.
- Short plots are adequate for our way of life. The tech we are using influences our choices in reading. Lots of people want something to read on the go, on their cell phone or tablet. Phones are easy to pull out and flip through. Instead of going through their emails while waiting in their dentist’s waiting room or in the airport, they enjoy being immersed into another world and forget where they are. They’re not ready to read a 300 pages book on these devices, but a 100 pages, sure. They also want to consume fast stories while commuting or waiting for someone, stories that will chase the boredom away and relax them or tune out the noise around them.
- The truth is we are wired for stories. Everyone enjoys a good story (even those who claim an English major is a waste of time). Nowadays, the myth of the starving artist does not exist anymore. Artists are doing very well and they do something they are passionate about. Why? Because people are wired for stories. When you think of it, our communications are all based on stories. When we meet friends, we tell stories about so and so. Stand up artists tell stories. Advertisements tell stories. The News tell stories. Magazines tell stories. Most of our dealings with people use stories as a communication device and people who are boring are people who cannot come up with personal stories.
Stories that are compelling are stories the reader will consume. They will flip the pages and go to the next book. Novellas are like desserts, a snack for our minds, and in my opinion, they’re the future.
Do not miss the podcast below about the man who sells short stories with typos but makes half a million dollars a year with short stories.
Talent is in the air...
Dawson, Mark PODCAST. "The Short Story Miracle man with author T.S. Paul."