Novels Vs Novellettes

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Jerico, Feb 22, 2008.

  1.  
    Jerico

    Jerico A penny for your thoughts

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    Sorry for posing such a generalised question but;

    I love writing and to think that others enjoyed reading my work would be a great reward. My dilemma is that I seem to be able to write short stories/novellettes with ease, about 2500-3000 words. And I think I have created quite an interesting World with interesting characters.

    I've never sent anyhting off before to agents/publishers or even competitions, so my writing standard will more than likely not be up to standard.:rolleyes: (And besides I wouldn't know where to begin with this process!)

    My question is are publishers interested in books of short stories set in one World or do they want big novels?? Is it more difficult to succeed in the short story area?? (The subject area being fantasy and sci-fi for an adult audience) :confused:
     
  2.  
    Doctor Sax

    Doctor Sax Battling the world snake

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    The market for shorter fiction is pretty much confined to the magazines and e-zines, really. Novellas are a harder sell, with some smaller publishers such as PS and Telos in the market. Big publishers, I imagine you'll be told, don't want anything other than full-length novels.
     
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    John Jarrold

    John Jarrold New Member

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    Exactly right. Even a series of linked stories will be considered just that, and publishers are only looking for full-length novels. Might be worthwhile submitting them to magazines in the UK and/or US. If you can get a number published, someone in mainstream publishing might be interested in a novel set in the same world, but not a collection, even then. Most story collections sell around one-fifth the copies of a novel. If you look at 10,000 copies as a basic rule of thumb for a new writer's novel (although the actual numbers vary considerably), you can do the arithmetic yourself: 2,000 copies does not make commercial sense.
     
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    Giovanna Clairval

    Giovanna Clairval New Member

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    Just for information, the Science Fiction Writers of America define a novella as a work of fiction between 17,500 and 40,000 words in length. A novelette checks in between 7,500 and 17,500 words.

    Talking about recent authors, Charles Stross has published at least two novelettes. But it's always the same song: published (and successful) authors have a market.
     
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    John Jarrold

    John Jarrold New Member

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    Yep, successfully-published novels must come first.
     
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    Troo

    Troo Pantechnicon.net

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    The funny thing is that writers love to write short stories, but readers hate reading 'em - mass market readers, this is. Obviously Interzone's audience is made up of people who love to pay for short fiction, and Hub and Pantechnicon wouldn't be thriving if there weren't readers out there.

    The problem is the mass-market though. If they don't want to buy it, nobody's going to sell it in those quantities, in the shops that the mass-market shops in. And while the unwillingness to read short stories (obviously) baffles me, it makes perfect sense to me that if there ain't customers, don't invest in it.

    By all means go for magazines and e-publications. Apart from anything else the process will help you sharpen your writing skills.

    And if you're in doubt about those, join a writing group, and practice :)
     
  7.  
    Jerico

    Jerico A penny for your thoughts

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    Thank you very much for your replies, it has been enlightening even if it wasn't the answers I was hoping for :) I shall have to work on my patience at working on longer stories, but in the mean time...

    Can you suggest some good magazines that I can submit some work to?

    Thanks again everyone ;)
     
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    Troo

    Troo Pantechnicon.net

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    *cough* Hub and Pantechnicon? ;)
     
  9.  
    Jerico

    Jerico A penny for your thoughts

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    Thanks Troo. :)
     
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    Troo

    Troo Pantechnicon.net

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    Any time :D

    Also, check out ralan.com and duotrope for market info.
     
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