A friend commented Friday about how fast I seem to be plowing through my current book project. I told her that was probably because this book is just a little over half the length of my past books. Where as my previous five novels were all part of series that I wrote mainly for the joy of it (not initially intending to publish) I wasn’t too concerned with the business of writing.
Since I’m now thinking as more of a writer/entrepreneur, I needed to cut down on the length of my writing. I’ll admit it, I like detailed stories. Not too much detail that you get lost it, just involved stories that suck you in. It’s been a challenge to keep my book at its current length of 117,000 words. All of my other novels were over 200,000 words, but from what I see in the market, shorter books seem to sell and take less time to write. Still at 117,000, it’s long for a romance type novel, but sorry, it’s the shortest I can do and still produce a decent story worth reading.
I have to be honest and say that part of how I pick a book to buy on my Kindle is based on length. I mean, I wouldn’t even pay 99 cents for a book that’s only 30 pages long!! And yes, they’re out there, lots of them. Sure I could write something like that, but how satisfying is that to a reader? Not very would be my guess. I don’t even bother to look at the book blurb if the book is less than 100 pages long in the book description.
So what are your thoughts? Shorter books/stories to grab the cash, or longer stories that give the writer the chance to write something meaningful? Is this money vs. art? And if you want to be a writer for a living, do you have to stoop to the shortest book/story possible to pump out the volume you’d need to make a living?