1. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    So I finished this novella...

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by jo spumoni, Jun 30, 2010.

    I spent about 3 months writing a novella. I confess it's not exactly Shakespeare, but I think with some editing it could be pretty good. It's about 102 pages (it might get a little longer or shorter, depending on some of the editing I'm doing), give or take of course. I don't really know how to describe the genre except to say that it's "pseudo-historical fiction", i.e. it takes place in a made-up country during an unspecified time period, but that time period seems to resemble the 17th or 18th century.

    What do I do with it? It feels like stupid question. I know that novellas are not very marketable, but I'm vain and it would be really cool to have it in print somewhere. Plus, having finished it, I'm not really all that keen to work edit it unless I have something to look forward to.

    So...I guess what I'm asking is this: is a 102-page novella publishable at all?
     
  2. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    Whats the word count?
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Forget about page count. I have no idea how you are generating it. You could be using an eight point condensed font, single spaced with quarter inch page margins on legal-sized paper, for all I know.

    Publishers go by word counts. For an unknown author, a novel should be between eighty and one hundred twenty thousand words. A novella is practically unpublishable through regular publishers, except perhaps YA markets.

    It sounds like you are considering vanity press. They will pretty much print whatever you want. After all, that's what you are paying them for. And pay you will. If that's your choice, I still recommend you proofread it carefully, because they won't fix it for you, or refund your money if you left mistakes in the draft you gave them. It will all be preserved for posterity.
     
  4. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jo Spumoni,

    As was said, work count is what is important, not page count. Page count was more important before word processing and such, as you would estimate # of words based on a standard page.

    Make sure your work is the absolute best product you can make it, then start seeking markets. There are some out there. E-book markets seem to be more open to novella length than print markets.

    Duotrope.com and ralan.com are probably good places to start looking for a market.

    Terry
     
  5. jo spumoni
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    jo spumoni Active Member

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    Ah, I forgot about word count, sorry. It's about 27,300 words right now. Probably will fluctuate slightly with editing.
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    That's a healthy length for a novella. Unfortunately, as has already been mentioned, a novella is hard to sell. You're best off doing as Terry said, and looking for publishers on duotrope who specifically publish novellas.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ditto all of that...

    it's way too short to be a book for the adult market, even too short for most YA books, unless it's for the youngest ages, so your only hope would be a magazine that publishes novellas... and those are prettry rare...

    imo, you'd be better off taking time to see if you can expand your story to full novel length...
     
  8. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    I'd check duotrope for novella markets (there are a few), try those first. If those markets don't bite, then if you truly think it's good enough, put it up on smashwords and kindle as an ebook and see if you can sell it that way.
     
  9. DanielCross
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    What i would do, if you had the time and motivation, is to consider if the story could be expanded into a full sized novel. It is a lot of work, but if you're truly interested in becoming a published writer, you'll have to go this route sooner or later.


    And hey, maybe you'll end up rich and famous. That's what i'm hoping for. :p
     
  10. laroche
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    laroche Member

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    I have similar issues: I tend to write short stories, 20k-40k words. Too short for a novel, too long for short stories (and, um, not snobby enough for most lit mags). Conversely to expanding it to novel length, what about combining it with other shorter-stories to make some sort of collection? That's my latest approach...
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Publishers won't buy a collection from an unknown author, as a rule.
     
  12. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Cogito is right. Your best bet is to either expand the novellas into a novel, and try that, or try to get shorter stories published and put the novella(s) on ice, in order to build up the gravitas to get them published in the future.
     
  13. Ashleigh
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    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Although what the others have suggested is probably true, and you should try and expand yourself, I don't see any harm in trying.

    If you look up some publishers who deal with novellas, and if it isn't going to cost you too much to send some hard copies off, then why not give it a go?

    If your work truly is unpublishable as it stands, then hear it from the horse's mouth. Let the publishers/agents decline you before you become descouraged, and they may have some advice for you.
     
  14. Tyler
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    Tyler Member

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    well, im not too much of the writin' type, you people and your fancy words...anyway, if you were really adamant about getting this thing published, you may consider writing a series of novellas and then condensing them into a single book. these novellas don't need to relate to one another in any given way, just that they occupy a book of different tales...you see what i mean there? anyway, best of luck an also i wantsta read yo book!

    oh, wait a minute, now i feel just plain silly for suggesting that collection thing when other people did...sorry about that
     

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