story length

Does size matter?

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I’m sure there are some ladies out there yelling “hell, yes!” and more than a few gentlemen saying “ahem, it’s the way it’s used, not the size that matters.”

But before we all go getting too excited, let me explain. I’m referring to the size of a book, not a… well, you know.

Forgetting about that other size issue, let’s focus on books.

There seems to be a huge push towards smaller size books lately. Or maybe it’s that I’m only becoming aware that we seem to be entering the age of the novella. Although there is no consensus about how long a novella must be, they generally seem to range between 10 000 and 40 000 words (i.e. from about 25 to 100 pages). Some books that are for sale on Amazon are even shorter (such as one dinosaur porn book I recently came across – don’t ask how I found it, and no, I’m not linking to it. It’s already sold way better than my sweet medical romances lol).

For me, personally, I don’t see the appeal (of either dinosaur porn or the novella). If I’m going to invest time and money in a book, I want to get at least twenty-four hours out of a story. I accidentally bought a novella once, only realising what I’d done when I found myself three-quarters of the way through the story in less than two hours.

I felt jipped.

But that’s just me. I grew up on chunky historical romances and epic fantasy series. I read Margaret Mitchell’s thousand-page Gone With The Wind novel when I was eleven years old (and yes, I do like to brag about that).

Maybe I’m an anomaly, though.

After all, more and more publishing houses are creating imprints for the short novels and novella length stories. The theory behind it is that in this technological age our attention spans are much smaller, the time we can commit to reading less than in previous generations.

Although that makes a certain kind of sense, I’d still much rather spend my limited book budget on novels I can sink my teeth into.

What about you? Is bigger better? Or do you like your stories short and sweet?




Profile 3Amanda Canham is a sleep scientist by trade, a mother by heart, and blogs for fun. She has published a series of sensual sleep medicine romance novels that you can check out here.