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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ll soon be publishing a short work and it’ll probably end up coming in at about 7,500-8000 words or so. At that length I could conceivable market it as either a short story or a novelette. Which do you think might sounds more appealing to a prospective reader? Which might make them feel they’d be getting more bang for their (just under a) buck?

 

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I've found that most short story writers prickle if you call anything over 5k words a "short story". Technically, you're in novelette territory. That's the term I use for my stories in that same word count range. I doubt readers care much, as long as they know it's shorter than a novel or novella (or that's the general feeling I get).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jamie, thanks, that’s very good to know. I think that’s what I’ll go with in that case. I think having most of it happen without scene breaks kept me thinking short story…but novelette it will be (prickles can hurt!).

Jeanne, thanks so much for the advice and good wishes!
 

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I don't know if what I have to say applies but I published a novella towards the end of may and only two people, people I know, have purchased it.  It is my first piece and I was simply trying to get my name out, but so far I would hesitate to deem it a worthwhile venture.

Looks like you have other works though so best of luck!  I think 8k words is still safely in the realm of a short story, and novellas are around 12 to 50k words.
 

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The various terms seem to vary - and a lot of people are still unfamiliar with what a novelette is.  We shall have to educate them.

For me a short story is up to 7.K, novelette between 7.5K and 17.5K, a novella between 17.5K and 40K and a novel anything over 40K.  Views differ though.
 

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Too big for a short story, and labeling it that way will look like you are giving people less for their money. Calling it a novelette will draw in the people who like a shorter work while also pulling in the folks who don't care for short stories.
 

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A.S. Warwick said:
The various terms seem to vary - and a lot of people are still unfamiliar with what a novelette is. We shall have to educate them.

For me a short story is up to 7.K, novelette between 7.5K and 17.5K, a novella between 17.5K and 40K and a novel anything over 40K. Views differ though.
I pretty much agree with his numbers.

I think a good strategy for works shorter than a novel is to let the reader know in advance how long the work is. Most people either don't know what the various categories concerning length are or they have vastly different ideas of the length of each category. So, you may want to state what the work is, but also provide your definition for what that category represents. A good way to do that is to say XXXXXX words / approximately XXXX pages.
 

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A.R. Williams said:
A good way to do that is to say XXXXXX words / approximately XXXX pages.
Yep, and I see a lot of people doing that.

So, the story can be called Zombie Nuns -- a Novelette of Unholy Flesh-Eating and then in the description you can list the word count and no one can say they weren't told. Well, they can say it...
 

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A.S. Warwick said:
The various terms seem to vary - and a lot of people are still unfamiliar with what a novelette is. We shall have to educate them.

For me a short story is up to 7.K, novelette between 7.5K and 17.5K, a novella between 17.5K and 40K and a novel anything over 40K. Views differ though.
Yeah, these are the numbers several writing associations use and about as close to a standard as it gets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
C.S., stick with it. My first TWO MONTHS of considerable marketing efforts  for The End of the World still resulted in pitiful sales. Now it's selling at a steady clip every day. Don't lose hope, just keep doing what you can to get it out there. It'll hit its stride if you keep at it.

A.S., yes, people being unfamiliar with the term novelette was one of my concerns. But, as you say, it's time to learn, so I'll do my part.

Michelle, that was another of my concerns - would people think they were getting something really short if they saw "short story" so another good reason to go with novelette. Thanks!

A.R., that's definitely what I'll do - good advice, thanks. And I agree with those numbers of A.S., too.

Daniel, thanks for the confirmation on that.

All good advice - thank you all!
 

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It really depends on your genre. In some genres, that would be considered a short story (and the term "novelette" is never used). In other genres, where the term "novelette" is used, it would be a novelette.

That being said, the average reader has never heard the term "novelette" or even if they have, they have no clue what it means. Along those lines, word count doesn't mean squat to the average reader, either.

I'd mark it as many different ways as possible: "This is a novelette of 8000 words, or 30 pages."
 

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I've counted up the actual number of words per page in several print books in my genre, plus the number of words per page in the print edition of my book, and I've found it runs closer to 275-285 words per page. So I use 280 and call it a day.
 

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Amanda Brice said:
It really depends on your genre. In some genres, that would be considered a short story (and the term "novelette" is never used). In other genres, where the term "novelette" is used, it would be a novelette.

That being said, the average reader has never heard the term "novelette" or even if they have, they have no clue what it means. Along those lines, word count doesn't mean squat to the average reader, either.

I'd mark it as many different ways as possible: "This is a novelette of 8000 words, or 30 pages."
I like this answer.

Also, Camille LaGuire covers this topic at length in the following blog post from The Daring Novelist:
http://daringnovelist.blogspot.com/2011/04/novella-novelette-page-count-and-word.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Amanda Brice said:
I'd mark it as many different ways as possible: "This is a novelette of 8000 words, or 30 pages."
Thanks, Amanda. Yes, I think that's what I'll do - covers all the bases that way.

And Mike, thanks for the link - I'll definitely check it out!
 

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If you're talking about your description, I'd just put the word count and leave it up to th reader to decide.  Whether you call it a short story or a novelette, for $1, it's a deal.

-jb 8)
 

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I agree with Alain, as usual.  :)

The difference between short stories and novelletes is less about word count and more about feel, and the experience of the read.

All of my short thrillers are between 6500 and 12000 words, and to avoid confusion I simply call them all short thrillers. And in the product description I list the word count and approximate page count as others have suggested. For example: 7000 words/approx. 30 printed pages.


Shana
 
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