Sunday, July 31, 2011

Are Ebooks Better When They're Shorter?

Yeah, I know. Its been a couple of months since I wrote one of these, but I've been busy trying to make a splash in the ebook world. More on that later. Not to mention, I don't like to just write to see myself in print...we'll unless you take ebooks into consideration...then I like it a lot!

Speaking of ebooks (nice segue), I don't know if I'm the only one that's noticed this, but it seems the voracious ebook readers out there are latching on to the shorter, less wordy cousins of the longer reads.

I think James Patterson sort of started this trend with his short, fast-reading chapters and then others seemed to follow. I noticed how much quicker I read his books, and then got on to the next one. I see that same kind of trend in ebook world. I'm a prime example. I've down loaded a ton of ebooks and find myself getting bogged down on the longer reads, especially if they drag out a point here or there. But folks like Joe Konrath, John Locke, Amanada Hocking, J.Carson Black, and Patterson, have had great success by telling a crisp, fast moving tale that doesn't take weeks to read. Even in my limited experince of just four months, I get at least one comment a day on folks that have read Caribbean Moon one day and Deceitful Moon the next. Both are around 275-300 pages and move very quickly.

Is this a sign of the times regarding attention spans, or do readers really want to fill there lives with new, fresh adventures as often as possible?

So tell me what you think, and does this make sense?

P.S. I said I'd address the success of Caribbean Moon and Deceitful Moon, so here goes: CM is now #4 in Kindle Books and  store, DM is # 14 as of this morning...still trying figure things out, but so far, so good. :)



  1. I think you may be on to something. I purposely wrote Burn Out to be a quick, fast read. It is just under 52K words and 172 pages. Readers have commented how the like the way the book reads fast. Right now, I'm in my 4th month of sale annd sitting around #127 in the overall best seller chart (trying to catch up to you!) and over 6K books sold.
    My next novel, Asylum Harbor, is also just under 60K.
    As a reader, personally I like fast-paced reads. I read Caribbean Moon within 24 hours. Loved it. I just finished a new author, Audrey Braun, and her novel, A Small Fortune, was also a great quick read.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. I don't mind short reads, so long as I know they are short. I feel cheated when I download what I think is a novel, only to find it's more of a novella.

  3. #2 and #11 when I looked and what brought me here ;)

    My husbands works about generally about 90,000 - 100,000 words which is about 300 pages. That's short for a fantasy writer and I don't like the big thick volumes usually found in these genres.

    I think there that the voracious readers like ticking off books, posting on their blogs how many read per week, month, year etc. So yeah, I think in general that shorter fiction is more popular these days then longer ones.

    Robin Sullivan | Write2Publish | Ridan Publishing

  4. I LOVE long books when I want to read a long book (1000+ pages). But your novels were just the right length for a mystery. I can't wait for the third one!!!

  5. I just read your first two books and loved them! I can't wait to read Emerald Moon! I hope I don't have to wait too long. Keep on writing!

  6. I don't know the statistics, but if you are right, then it may very well come following the general trend - as life gets faster and faster, daily volumes of information - bigger and bigger - it is necessary to be short and right on the point to catch people's attention. As an example, have a look at how many world-known companies have simplified their logos and slogans over the last several years. They had to, otherwise nobody would have had the time to bother looking at their ads )). Maybe it is easier to have a short book at hand, to read it in the train on the way to work or catch a couple of lines before passing out in bed after a hard day. And have the book finished in a couple of days nonetheless. For me, however, short is not so good. First, I like to "dive" into the book and stay there for a while, spend enough time enjoining it. Second, I think that the author's talent becomes evident when he is able to make up an interesting and a long story. So I'd be glad if your next book is not short. Meanwhile, thanks for these two books,I'm going to do a short review at Amazon. Come have a look sometime,if you're interested in the impression of one of your Russian readers.

  7. I really hope our HURRY UP! MOVE ON! GET GOING society isn't coming to this!!! ;o) I like books of ALL lengths... shorter reads are fine for some subjects... but thriller/mystery writers need to be careful to allow enough pages to do their story justice! There has to be adequate time to develop appropriate character definition... to spin the web of mystery... to add a few red herrings and twists, while also including some pages just for the sheer pleasure of reading the well thought-out, enjoyable WORDS that a good book is all about. I am reading the 1st Manny Williams book now, and I noticed last night that I am about 75% done. I will be sorry to see this book end, and if it wraps up *in a hurry*, or otherwise leaves questions unanswered or hurredly answered, I will be very bummed! I worry when mystery writers try to cut their books too short. Be careful with that. There are still a LOT of folks out there who are HAPPY to read an enjoyable, exciting, page-turning, well-written 400 (or more) page book!

  8. I really enjoyed both of your books and will patiently wait for the third and hopefully more to come. I think the story is more important than the length and your stories are great. If it is a great story you will keep reading no matter if the book is 300 or 3000 pages! With the Kindle I really can't tell what page I am on anyway.

  9. I enjoy a long read, I read both "Moon" books very quickly. They were enjoyable and held my interest and a good escape for a day. I am anxiously waiting for the next book. I see them as chapters, rather than full books. Today it seems a series equals what was previously a book. Thus, the more books published per year! Do I prefer it this way? Well, I like to see a story to it's conclusion. I also intend to follow Manny's story with Argyle to the finish. I hope Manny wins!
    If the writing is good, the length doesn't matter, once an author establishes themselves avid readers will complete a long book and not be frightened by the length of it, don,t you think?