I’ve been writing 50,000-70,000 word novels for a while now and to do it properly takes a lot of time. My fastest writing ever was last year when I finished a 60,000 word novel in eight months. And I do believe there will always be readers who want to immerse themselves in a long, detailed story. However, I also believe that a new wave of reading experiences will take over the future. What are these, you ask?
As our lives become busier and busier, it’s harder to find time to sit and just read a book. People have shorter and shorter intervals of spare moments; a twenty-minute bus commute or a ten minute wait in a parking lot to pick up your kid are the norm. We need quick, exciting stories to pass the time.
I believe readers and writers will see a new trend of the reading experience evolve. I think shorter series novels will take the place of long, epic ones. These stories will hook the reader immediately and satisfy the escapism bug without delving too deeply into page upon page of subplots, characterization, and long, overly developed plots. Like a quick shot of whiskey to loosen you up instead of a whole evening of drinking.
Gone will be the days of $2.99, $1.99, or even $0.99 ebooks. These short, series novellas will cost a quarter, or a dime, or maybe even free to hook an audience into the series. Fans will alert others when a new novella is released and the viral effects will be staggering (assuming you can write a good story).
Authors will have to be extremely prolific in the near future to keep up with the demand of writing a dozen or more series novellas a year. But the big corporate pressures of the past to create a perfect, profitable, publishing package will go extinct. Readership will decide what series are worth their time, not a table of executives sitting on a high floor of a skyscraper in New York City.
That said, I have nearly completed the first novella in my planned six-book dystopian series. Each book will be priced at $0.99 and end with a killer cliffhanger (much like the television series’ LOST and THE X FILES always did) hooking the audience to purchase the next book. Bring on the future of book publishing and readers. This is the most exciting, innovative time ever to be an author.