I’m a recovering short story snob. There I said it. In my defense, though, when you’re forking out hard earned dollars toward your
addiction hobby you do want to get the most bang for your buck. I wasn’t kidding in my bio when I said I was “an avid reader able to gobble up 100,000 words in a single sitting.” (For you readers who don’t pay attention to word count, a 100,000 word story is approximately a 400 page paperback book.) I inhale books at a disturbing rate, just ask the bookshelf that collapsed over the weekend.
However, the advent of e-books has me rediscovering the joys of reading shorter works. And with my handy dandy Nook I can carry a lot of those babies around with me.
But that hard earned dollar thing comes into play with e-books, too. For example, I won’t pay more for an e-book than I would for its corresponding paperback (which I can sell or trade or gift) unless it only comes as an e-book. So for a 100,000 word e-book I’m not going to spend over the $6 or $7 bucks it would be in paper. And realistically, not over $4 or $5 because I can’t sell, trade, or gift (or even loan in most cases) that e-book once it’s mine. Therefore, a 50,000 word e-book isn’t going to find its way to my Nook for more than $2 (well, maybe $2.99 if I really, really love the author). So where does that leave Novellas (and stories under 50,000)? A Novella (20,000 to 50,000 words) might get me at $1.99, definitely at $0.99. Which really puts the other short stories in a bind.
I know there has been tons of blog posts on the subject of e-book pricing and I don’t really want to hash it out again here, well, maybe I do if it opens a discussion.
But, as an aspiring author, I’ve been thinking about story length. How long should my WiP be? Am I aiming for a category romance? My friend Maria Zannini seemed to think it might fit. And here’s another confession, I’ve never read a category romance. Gasp. It goes back to that inhalation of books I mentioned. Yet, I know a number of people who read nothing but category romances. So, where does that leave me? Other than rambling here, LOL
Let’s get a discussion going in the comments. What is your preferred format? How fast do you go through books? And, for kicks and giggles, what are your thoughts on book pricing (e-book, paperback, hard cover, and how about audio)?