Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Does Size Matter

I found myself asking the question yesterday - Does size matter? And of course I came up with the same answer as always - Of course it bloody does! I mean - what would you say if you ended up short changed. I wouldn't be too happy. I expect a decent length... 20,000 words at least.
Oh, you thought I was blogging about something else - well sorry to disappoint. Read a few of my books and you'll know my views on that trivial matter.
I mean book length. In the ebook world we are less conscious of size. There is no physical book to pick up, have a look at the thickness and decide like Goldilocks - too big, too small, just about right! With my early work I didn't worry too much as I wasn't controlled over pricing as I am now ($2.99 is the minimum I can set for the powerhouse in the business, and they tell you off in not very polite terms if they find the same book priced cheaper elsewhere). That's why there are a couple of books out there which I've rewritten to make longer - 'The Pilot's Surrender' being the main one. The original story was only 7,500 words which I think is way too short to charge $2.99 for. I doubled the length and still think it's a bit short. As I said, 20,000 is the minimum I now aim for.
But is that long enough?
For erotica maybe. The longest piece I've ever written as Jack Brighton is 'The Wild Side of Paddy McGuire'. Personally I think it's my best book, but I'm a bit biased as Paddy is my favourite creation. One reviewer said however that he found it went on too long and lost interest half way through. Sometimes big isn't better - at least for some people it isn't.
Anyway, why all this cropped up was due to my current piece of work. I had intended it to be a short story - one of three that was going to make up a Tom Farrell collection. I had reached 6,500 words and to be honest there is so much more to go. Short stories should be 1,000-7,500 words apparently, so it was going to be way out of that range. Thankfully there is enough scope for it to run well over 20,000 so it will become a book - a novella, which is 20-50,000 words. And that is where almost all of my books fall - it's very rare to go over like I did with Paddy, although some of the older works fall a tad short. Sorry!
It's those buggers in the middle that are the tricky ones: anything between 7,500 and 20,000, which are called novelettes I am now informed. I have a novelette that I wrote some time ago - a very personal piece titled Mania (just for clarity, I do not suffer from Bipolar Disorder). I made it free for a time because charging $2.99 seemed outrageous, but removed it because it wasn't a typical example of my work and it might have been giving out the wrong message. So what do I do? Risk pissing people off by charging too much for a short piece - or pad it out? I think it's right as it is, so it would possibly get spoiled. Tricky!
You see size does matter!
It matters to me!


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