Friday, October 10, 2014

How Long is Too Long for a Book?

I've been noticing that book lengths have been shortening.  What used to be an acceptable length of 80,000 words is now considered a 'longer' book.  I'm not sure if I'm the only one noticing this, but it also seems that different genres demand longer books.  Fantasy readers seem to want longer books.  But romance readers want that fix for the happily ever after ending sooner.

This is just what I've been noticing from reading different books and from listening to authors I know.

But, according to Smashwords, books that are longer seem to sell better.  (see http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/05/new-smashwords-survey-helps-authors.html).  If so, why are so many books out there so short?  I even heard one story of a series of books that are short, because they're part of one book.  So the reader gets to a cliff hanger and can't read more until they buy the next book.  Irritating!

Personally, I want a well-written book, without extra superfluous words (padding).  I don't care how long the thing is, but I want my money's worth.  i don't want a book with a lot of tells, which is short, just because the author wants to make a bunch of money but doesn't want to put in the effort to make a decent book.

What do you think?

Have a great week!
Markee

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