Novels Vs Novellas – Which Do You Prefer?



As an authoress, I’ve written both – weighty novels of around 50, 000 words plus and tiny little ‘taster’ novellas – if you will – that are a mere drop in the ocean of words.

Personally, I like both. If I’m searching the great Amazon of erotic literary talent, then I’ll often purchase a novella (which more often than not is kinder on my bank balance!) to see if I like the author’s writing style, check that the grammar isn’t awful (and I’m not perfect – but missing periods and important punctuation like comma’s makes things difficult to read) and see if I can be drawn into the story. That means that if the novella in question is terrible, I’ve only wasted a few pennies on it. On the other hand, if it’s good, I can go out and purchase everything else that the author has ever written and within reason, I won’t care about the cost. Typically, taster novellas will start at anything around a mere 5,000 words, and these are the freebies that are frequently up for grabs at Amazon, to a rather plump and beautiful 30,000 words.

There is also another great reason for writing novellas. If, as an indie writer, you enrol in Amazon’s KDP select you can offer your work for free to gain new readership and (hopefully!) reviews. This was how I managed to get the word out there about my first novella, The Riding School, and it also helped me subsequently find a publisher.

However, if I’m purchasing a straightforward romance, thriller etc. from an author or authoress I have already read, then it’s a different kettle of fish. I want a novel. A great big, fat, juicy novel. I am still eagerly awaiting the release of Deborah Harkness’ new novel in the ‘All Souls’ trilogy – please hurry Ms. Harkness!!!

As I’ve seen a lot of new authors/authoresses moving to novellas, especially in the erotica department, I wonder what the general opinion is out there?

Are novella’s frustratingly short? Do you prefer reading a novel, regardless of the cost or whether the author/authoress is unknown to you? Answers on a postcard please – or in the comments section if you prefer!

(Image courtesy of mhp books)

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6 thoughts on “Novels Vs Novellas – Which Do You Prefer?

  1. As an avid reader or some may consider it a rabid reader, what I read depends on my mood. As a fan of many different genres of books I have read everything from tomes to short stories that I’ve finished in 15 minutes. Many times I will be reading a long novel and mix in a novella to break it up a bit. Like you said by getting a novella especially by a new writer it allows me to see if I like them and their writing style with out picking up a full length novel. In the world of erotica (in my mind anyway) a novella is a better fit.

  2. I am always scouring Amazon for a well-written, full-length, erotic novel… Alas… to no avail. All I seem to find are cheap ’50 Shades’ wannabes! I, for one, am sick of that story line and constantly searching for something more creative and more erotic. At this point, I am afraid that the only outlet for that is novellas and short story compilations. I’m not happy about it! But that is my experience. Finding that perfect balance between eroticism and a good plot seems to be a recipe that hasn’t quite been perfected yet.

    • I hate novels without a plot line too, erotica or not – I want storyline! And I’m with you – 50 shades has been done – let’s have something new and off-the-wall! I hope you find what your looking for 😉

  3. Yeaaaaah. It depends.
    Most the time, I want to read a novel.
    There are those times tho, that I want something to just immerse myself in and not take days to get through (writers never have hours to read books – I sometimes miss those days;) so, on those occasions, I guess I am more apt to grab an anthology to satisfy myself – I might read one or two and sometimes, I’ll go for all three. Yep, might take me days to get through them all, but if life gets in the way, I’m not stuck trying to remember what was going on when I last read it 3 days ago 😛

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