What’s the ideal length for a book?

In a blog post on Invisible Order, book editor, promoter, and friend of Ascension Epoch Mike Reid asks what id the best length for an e-book. After citing some examples including our very own Salamander Six, he decides that the answer is clear: make it short!

It’s a good article for established authors who’ve been interested in releasing short stories and anthologies, but who have hesitated to do so because of the stigma attached to such books by the dead-tree publishing model. It’s also a good piece of advice for first-time authors who may feel daunted at the thought of churning out 400+ page novels (not everyone can be Matthew Alexander!).

One huge benefit to releasing short stories that friend Mike doesn’t really get into is that, by focusing on shorter work, you can also release more books, more frequently. This is absolutely vital for indy authors to build up audience interest and loyalty. If you only have a single book out and it takes you 2+ years between releases, it doesn’t matter how much your fans loved your work, because they won’t have any way to support you. Gaining an audience is only the first step: you gotta keep ’em interested!

Ascension Epoch started with a short story and is still predominantly a world built on shorter fiction. Many people have told us that they appreciate it for that fact alone–they like to have something they can read in one sitting over a quiet evening, something their busy schedules will actually allow them to finish. And so, after the release of The Dismal Tide, we’ll be shifting back to more frequent and regular releases of short stories and anthologies in our East End Irregulars series of YA Superhero books. In fact, we had to cut so much material out of The Dismal Tide that the next two volumes in the series are nearly done! We’re not giving up on novels (in fact, we have a couple planned out already), but we believe short stories and novelettes are worthy forms of literature all on their own, and we expect to see a resurgence in those formats over the next few years.

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