In today’s erotic eBook market, authors debate between writing short stories or going for longer novel length books. While both story lengths seem to appeal to various readers, authors want to know which style maximizes sales. In a rush to decide what sells better, I think authors have forgotten to take a step back. What we really need to be asking as authors is simple, what length is best for my personal writing style? Having made the transition myself, I thought I’d discuss what I found.
Write shorts to explore a genre or kink: When I first started writing, shorts were everything. Stories in the 3,000 – 5,000 word range were a perfect way to explore subject matter. Despite the decline in short story sales, shorts remain a viable option for authors. Considering a new kink? Try writing a short story first. Just starting out in your writing career? No problem, write plenty of shorts to get your name out there. Before defining yourself as an author, shorts are a great tool to make an impact while exploring various erotic subjects.
Novels point out writing flaws: One of the reasons I love writing novels now happens to be they point out my weaknesses. If you’re writing stories spanning only 3,000 words, odds are writing weaknesses won’t be apparent. Trust me, 40,000 words points out all the writing flaws an author has. If you’re looking to be a stronger writer, try a novel. Using words like that, just, and honestly, too much? By the end of a 40,000 word book, the habit will be obvious. Plus, you’ll get plenty of practice weeding these words out in the long run.
Price points make a difference: If you’re looking for the most sale potential, novels are the way to go. For every single you sell, you’ll make double your money. On the other hand, shorts are great for authors looking to expand their catalog. Whether you have novels or shorts, only having one title decreases odds book will sell. Taking the time to have a variety of books to offer has a direct impact on sales potential. In the long run, an author can better choose to write shorts or novels based on personal preference.
Time constraints don’t matter: Want to write a novel, but are afraid of the time investment? Don’t be, in reality it’s the same amount of writing. On average, authors of shorts write between 8 – 10 books a month. If these books are 5,000 words or more, authors are actually writing 40,000 words a month already. The investment for authors in the case of a novel is more long term, instead of eight short titles. Authors shouldn’t worry about if they do it, odds are they already have!
Ultimately, writing shorts and novels depends on personal preferences. As an author, I now prefer to write novels. Because I started out writing shorts however, shorts remain my favorite. If I have an extra day at the end of the month, I’ll write a short story. After writing a couple novels, I discovered my shorts improved. Novels may create better writers, shorts might be more practical. In either case, we need to examine what motivation drives us to write. The answer might surprise all of us.