Why Novellas?

The stories that I have written and destined for publication fall into the novella category. Longer than a short story and yet not as long as novels. So it may beg the question, why?

Short Answer

I write in the novella length, because I can.

Long Answer

E-Novellas, especially self-published ones, are a viable product
In the age of e-readers, shorter stories are viable and marketable. Shorter, self-contained stories are just as entertaining and people do buy them.

When I self-publish, I don’t have a publisher putting a potentially artificial word limit on the story. I can write and finish the story that I want to. I read somewhere (I’ll add the citation if I find it again) that the 90K novel format was pushed by the publisher houses to justify higher book prices. Not sure if it is true, but it well could be. I look at my favorite books from the 1990’s and they are much shorter than the tomes now.

I can write, edit and publish stories faster.
From a reader and fan point of view, it means that the series can move forward more smoothly. Novella length stories are a lot easier for me to work on. My mind can hold the whole story at once and I can do edit runs in one or two sittings.

My plan is to publish one story every few months. No need to wait for a year for the next novel. That way if I get some extra time and ideas, I will be able to do a few standalone stories around the edges of the main series as well.

My mind can hold a novella.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to put out novels as well. And as I develop into a more mature writer, maybe I will. I have started several, but the grand sweeping nature of them tends to overwhelm my mind. I get lost in the threads and the complexity and it falls apart. The novella length, though, seems to fit in my head better. I can know the whole thing and mentally direct it easier.

It fits with my idea of the series.
I love epic fantasy. I read David Eddings’ five book series’ as a kid and loved them. I re-read the Wheel of Time saga every time a new one came out just to have it in my head to devour the latest book. And yet I don’t really want to be that kind of author, at least not right now.

On the other hand, I love Anime. An Anime series isn’t like a sitcom. It has a story arc and a definite direction within the season, and yet each episode (or small group of episodes) is a complete story as well. This is the idea that I driving me for Crossing the Dropline. Characters that are definitely going somewhere longterm, but with the overall story told in smaller chunks.

– – –
Although I kind of fell into writing shorter works, I am thrilled to be doing it like this. My mind is happier and I actually finish projects that I start.

Test Cover for Crossing the Dropline : Air Pirates

The first novella of the Crossing the Dropline series is off to beta readers, so I am beginning to concentrate on other aspects of its publication. Next up, the cover.

Cover2_xThe world of Crossing the Dropline is fantasy, but instead of the more typical medieval style setting, I have placed it closer to the 20’s and 30’s of our own world. The cover is meant to echo a travel poster from that time period. It features the floating islands that make up the world north of the Dropline where the stories take place.

Phase 2: Got some feedback on a writer’s forum and redid the cover. Here is the next version. I like it tons better. A wonder what a little push does to help.
Cover3_Nickel_x

Phase 3: Even more feedback. Another round of simplification and more font in the direction of the Art Deco feel I was going for.

The white band is gone and the colors are a less “box of crayons”.
Cover3a_Blackx

For the final cover check out the Books page. The title has since shifted to Queen of the Cloud Pirates as well.