February 23, 2014

Sunday Spiel: Novellas

Random note: I'm sorry I didn't write a discussion post last week! I honestly can't even remember why I didn't. I must have either been really busy or just not in the mood. But today I am in the mood, and I'm going to talk about something that isn't very controversial - just a topic to discuss.

Before I get into this, I'd just like to say these are my opinions. I am in no way saying that you should have these opinions or that mine are correct. This is simply a post open to discussion, and you're free to share your opinions as well. :) I love hearing them!

Sooo anyway, today I wanted to talk about novellas. It might seem like there's not much to talk about, but I don't know, I find them interesting.

The way I see it, novellas aren't written because the author wants to write them. They seem to only be released when there's a series that publishers are either trying to a) market or b) get more money out of. Novellas can be good when you're reading an excellent series and the next book isn't going to come out for another year or so, but you still want to read more of what's going on in that world. That goes along with point b - it gives readers the chance to read more about the same characters and publishers the chance to milk the series for all it's worth.

But I also think novellas are used to market books that aren't quite as popular. Like "Hey, these books are good, and there are even novellas so if you like it you can read more." Or they can even be used just to get the word out.

I think the latter is more popular, especially with trilogies. Shatter Me, The Selection, etc. Readers and publishers both want more of the story for different reasons, and in the end everyone wins.

I also believe that novellas can either turn out really good or really bad. It's an art, writing something so short and yet so meaningful. To be honest, I haven't read all that many novellas. I find that they usually turn out more mediocre than anything. It's rare that I read an actual good one.

Overall, I think they're a nice idea when there's a really popular series that readers want more of, but other than that I don't find them all that interesting. Not bad, just unnecessary. 

What about you? Do you like novellas? Have you read any good ones lately?


  1. I haven't read many novellas, to be honest! I see them everywhere for the epic and big series, but I guess I just never feel like spending money to buy a tiny book. Even though, gosh, they're only a few dollars at MOST on Amazon and stuff. Maybe I should look into it...particularly for Divergent. I love that world and I miss it!

    1. I don't read them all that often, either. But they are a good deal most of the time! And I definitely agree about Divergent. I miss those books so much...I should really reread them.

  2. Ooh, good topic. I personally really like novellas. I've been reading more and more of them recently. I mostly agree with you, that a lot of them are just mediocre, but occasionally I do find some really good ones. But I don't feel the ratio of my star ratings for them ends up being very much different than my ratings for full-size books, so I don't mind that much.

    I think it's cool to release them between books so that readers don't have to wait quite as long to interact with the characters that they miss, but for me personally, I try not to read series until all of the books are published, so that doesn't really matter for me. But I can see why it would be a good thing for other people.

    1. They're good in certain situations. I love them when I'm not up for something heavy, but just a light, quick read.

      It's smart that you don't read series until all of the books are published! That's great if you don't want to be left hanging. :)