Steinbeck’s offering, as noted in Amazon’s ebook listing, racks in at 112 pages, amounting to less than 30,000 words, making it fit categorically as a novella. Yes, something less than a novel length book (50 to 60,000 plus words), seem to be a quandary-length for many writers and readers. Some writers are convinced that publishing a book that is any less than 60 to 80,000 words will not sell as well as one that contains those volume of words. Not true. Steinbeck pretty much refuted that argument.
It’s no surprise that the big five New York publishing houses (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillian U.S. and Hachette Book Group), prefer novel-length books which are heftier, offering the book-buyer a greater perceived value…many hardback’s now fetching $30 or more. Readers however are finding these shorter books do have some appeal; given the ebook sales trend using devices like phones, tablets, ereader’s, even computers…and ebooks are outselling all print versions both hardback and paperback. Amazon even has a separate listing for ‘shorter’ offerings called Kindle Singles, with word count between 5 to 30K.
Typically, as you would expect, short books (short stories and novellas), sell for much less than novel-length books. Readers expect to pay less. Ebooks in general sell for less money than paper or print versions…that’s why people buy them. That and the fact that more ‘readers’ are reading books via an electronic device.
There is much more to this story, which I will not elaborate here in this post. The question is (you knew there would be a question – hehe), how many of you are: 1) reading shorter books and 2) reading them on electronic devices as opposed to print versions and 3) feel you are getting your money’s worth?
Drop a comment with your answer…let’s see if a trend exists regarding short books.
Thanks - Henry H.H. Hittlebloome, Author, ‘The Mystery Maxims of Jake Spade – Case #1 FORGIVEN.’