Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Size Matters (But Not in the Way You Think)

Picture from I can has force.

Size Matters in the Indie world, but here I think smaller is better.  Blog posts are short, Twitter is short, Facebook updates are short.

On the net, everything is bitesize. 

There's a major theory that our attention spans are getting shorter.  We are not paying attention to the world around us.  We only read blogs with pictures (like the nice one of the lady with the strawberry ------------>) or short blog posts. 

Readers like things short.

There is also lots of things on the net that are free. 
With so many free things abounding, how do we make our readers buy our books?  Well, the books have to be good.  The free sample has to hook them in.  Make them desire our books. 

And give them content that's bitesize.

NY may have turned its back on novellas, but they are alive and well amongst the indies.  Cheap enough that the freebie loving internet generation doesn't immediately discount them, short enough that an author could write several a year (writing full-time, at the speed I write, I reckon I could turn out 3  novels a year - so a lot more novellas, then) and short enough that the internet generation with its goldfish attention span doesn't mind reading them.

I don't know if my attention span is as short as a goldfish, but I do know that, unlike some people who have recently experienced a complete about-face with regards to e-books, I'm not likely to get a Kindle anytime soon (they're not worth it in the UK yet) and as a result I'm much more likely to download and read a novella, especially an inexpensive one.

So let NY continue with its a year and a half to produce an over-priced and under marketed novel.  After The Guns of Pleasure and Death comes out, I'll be moving onto novellas for a while.  

How about you?  Do you fancy lots of short, good reads, or something more substantial.


  1. I am still big on having a 250+ page novel. I really like sitting down for a handful of hours and losing myself in a sweeping story. The sad thing is, the e-publishing world considers novella-length writing 'novels' now, and it's depressing to me. ;_; I like novels. I write novellas and novels, and I buy both as well, but a novel will always get my money before a novella.

  2. I love novellas the most! Or short novels. Though sometimes a longer novel can keep my attention. I just find most authors aren't very good at sustaining a long narrative.

  3. I love to read novels. I'm a fast reader and I love to get caught up in a story. However, I live to write short stories. I've completed two novel length manuscripts as well, but I really and truly love to write short fiction. Sometimes reading a quick little story is the perfect bite-size enjoyment I need.