Thursday, May 20, 2010

Isn't Short Fiction Worth Its Weight in Gold

I just completed my book which is 33,000 words in length. An enticing romance suspense which leaves the reader with a thrilling ending. Typically, I'd agree that longer novels have punch, I think this story is worth its weight in gold. Would your agency review something like this?

No, we wouldn’t, and I suspect you’ll have a really difficult time finding any agency who would. 33,000 words is a novella, it’s not a novel, and from a financial perspective it’s typically not worth a publisher’s time to spend the money to publish a book that’s only 33,000 words. It’s a book they would only be able to price at about $3 or $4 (in paper), and I don’t think it would be a cost-effective move for anyone.

More important, though, I’d be curious what romantic suspense readers think. Do you think 33,000 words might pack the punch you’re looking for, or would you be instantly suspicious that this book is about one-third the length of what you normally read?