Are you writing novellas? Consider it. Shorter titles are an easy way to boost your indie publishing business. My writing students have lots of questions about novellas, and some misconceptions too.
Look at novellas this way: you have a smaller canvas on which to tell your story, so you’ll have a smaller cast of characters, and fewer complications. That said, you need as much suspense in a novella as you do in a novel.
Indie publishing: build your readership
Why write novellas?
In a nutshell: to build your readership, and boost your indie publishing business. Authors who write novellas find that they sell just as well as novels.
Novellas are faster to write. With a word count of between 20,000 and 40,000 words, you can produce two novellas in the time it takes you to write one novel.
Here are three tips you can use today.
1. Create a goal: why are you writing and publishing your novella?
What’s your goal for your novella?
Your goal might be to:
- Test a genre which is new to you;
- Boost the sales of the books in your indie publishing catalogue;
- Have fun. You got an idea, and you want to write it…
I write a novella when I want to keep the momentum of a series going, but don’t have a new novel in the series scheduled for several months.
2. Promote your novella as you’d promote a novel
Some of my writing students tend to be apologetic when they publish a novella. They do minimal promotion, and this is always a mistake. Promote your novellas — you’ll be pleased with the results.
Aim to do just as much promotion for a novella as you do for a full-length title. If you intend your new novella to be the prequel to a series, launch the both the novella, and the pre-order of the first novel in your series together.
A suggestion: you may intend to revise and edit the novel you’ve uploaded for the pre-order, but make the upload as close to the final version as you can. Then you’ll avoid stress if something goes wrong on launch day.
3. Develop action and conflict: keep your story moving
Your novella needs as much tension and narrative drive as a full-length novel.
As I recommended here:
- No backstory. Leave it out. No one wants or needs to know your characters’ history, or the town’s history.
- Stop foreshadowing. It’s a bad habit. To readers, it’s like going to a movie with a friend who’s seen it already. The friend offers constant commentary: “the good bit’s coming now — watch what happens… you’ll never guess what she’s doing…” You want to smother the friend.
You want your reader reviews to include comments like “should be longer”, so keep up the pace.
Boost your indie publishing with novellas
Are you a new author? Start your indie publishing journey with a novella or two to build your confidence that your writing sells. You’ll breeze through your future novels. 🙂
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