ITT: discuss the novella format. From what I can tell, and what my editor / other publishers have said about trends in the literature market, the consensus seems to be that the novella is a dead form. No one publishes it. What has made novellas such an undesirable format in the modern day? Its popular to express that because of how fast readers are able to consume books with their smart devices and with changes to the field like self-publication and e-readers, novellas are just too long to for people to pay attention to. I don't really buy this though, if the contemporary attention span were the culprit, wouldn't novellas be great, and novels be dying? Shit, even film adaptations usually go for novels, which entails an enormous amount of content-parsing, and usually leads to a slimmed down product that fans of the source material lament for "leaving things out." Novellas are almost directly translatable to feature-presentation length.
So what gives? Why is the novella a "dead" format? Is there any one out there who publishes serious literary novellas? To be frank, I just finished a novella that I've been working on for two fucking years, and I wonder if there is a market for this thing besides my own bookshelf.
Self-publishing is the devil.
>>Why are novellas commonly considered a dead format?
No one considers them a dead format, idiot. Now go back to Reddit and leave the big boys alone, so that they can continue discussing literature.
What genre of novella? What demographics are you aiming for?
Why do you think self-publishing is evil? Marketing your ebook through amazon might work (I've yet to try this) with a little investment.
To answer your question: It may just be a cost versus benefit thing for publishers. A novella is, what, under 100 pages? For the full gamut of preparation needed, from in-house editing to marketing campaign, it jus might not be economically feasible for publishers to be interested in novellas.
Here's an old article that puts the trent in good words, memespouting big boy:
>In that sense they require great but unusual skill, a honing of an authorial art which can only come with dedicated practice, but where does an author go to get this practice? Novellas don’t sell well because they lack perceived value. (The Great Gatsby, for example, was F Scott Fitzgerald’s third novel, around 50,000 words long, but did not sell as well as his first two. “It was too short,” he wrote to a friend. “Remember this. Never write a book under 60,000 words.”) Because they don’t sell well, publishers don’t like them, and so they remain the reserve of the well-established writer with a guaranteed readership, an almost rarefied art, practiced by only the very, very good
It's not a genre novella, it's a literary effort. Do you mean what's the setting? I don't have a target audience in mind. Never did. I wrote something that I believed in, and that it took me two years to unravel conceptually and write down considerately. I don't care for self-publishing because it's turned publishers into bankers who deal in loans for authors.
I think the general novella length parameter is 18,000-40,000 words? Pulling that figure out of my ass though. Most short story publishers put a hard cap at 10,000 or less. A common minimum for novel publishers is 40,000 words I think? So in that ballpark in between would be a novella.
I've been equating novellas to quick and dirty beach reads, the genreiest of the genre fiction, and thinking that they could sell well if gory/gritty/sexy enough.
Otherwise, that article says exactly what I just said...
Maybe find a small publisher that deals in literary novellas? Go to a print shop and get your own ISBN, sell to local bookstores? Grassroots kind of kind of self-publishing. Sew your own fucking binding and all. I dunno.
>Print shop, scoop ISBN, sell to local bookstores
Does this work? The only kind of self publishing I'm aware of is the 'write trashy sci-fi/fantasy genre manuscript based on tropes from your favorite games and movies, post to your 6-figure twitter following, self publish on amazon, get contacted by commercial publishing house looking to add an 'established following' to their lineup, rinse, repeat' method.
It didn't for the guy who led a workshop on how to self publish with this method. Though his writing is pre-schooler and heavily influenced by his own dim-witted self.
If you're good enough, it'll work. Unfortunately, it's also about who you know. I say do it and kidnap a few literati in your city and force them to read it. Instant fame right there.
I find myself writing Novella's unintentionally.
I start with a story, write it out, try to avoid purple prose and end up with under 30,000 words.
I've read that publisher's try to avoid Novellas but it is my naive hope that if the writing is compelling enough than you will find a publisher to sell your work.
I'm afraid that I am no example, sitting on two first drafts, but let us not lose hope OP!
Nowadays most novellas are used to beef up page count on short story collections (either single-author or anthologies).
Nevertheless, this writer thinks they are making a comeback. Might be worth checking out these articles.
The guy who did this best was Jim Harrison. He published seven different novellas collections, the best of which was probably Legends of the Fall.