So as of today, I have published 3 fantasy novels and 2 shorter works of Paranormal Romance. I have been writing for 12 years now and before self-publishing, I attempted the “traditional publishing” route. Strangely enough, my books were considered a little too long for several agents to feel comfortable with, especially when trying out a new, unestablished author. After some back and forth, I finally decided to self-publish because it seemed like the ebook market was taking off and there were a lot more opportunities for self-published authors to be seen and read.
Weirdly enough, since publishing my work, I have received consistent complaints that my books are too short. I am very flattered that people want to keep reading my stories and wish they were longer. I mean, what more could an author ask for? But I’ve received so many comments about the length of the books that I feel the need to explain.
Sora’s Quest is 105,000 words.
Viper’s Creed is around 95,000 words.
Volcrian’s Hunt is 115,000 words.
To put this in perspective,
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is 74,000 words.
The Hobbit is 95,000 words.
Twilight is 115,000 words.
What I am trying to point out is that my books are no shorter than average for Young Adult Fantasy. In fact, when I was first trying to get Sora’s Quest published, I was repeatedly told that it was too long and needed to be cut down to 75,000-85,000 words. So understandably, the last thing I ever expected to hear from my readers is that the books are too short! Some readers have gone as far as to accuse me of doing this on purpose, and I can assure you, this is not the case. I am not attempting to write a series of “extremely short serial novels” that require you to purchase several books just to get the feeling of “one novel.” The characters are on a quest and I can’t wrap up all the storylines in one book, because then there would be nothing left to write about. This model of “one story split into several books” has been used by countless authors, especially in the fantasy genre: J. R. R. Tolkien, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan and even Patrick Rothfuss to an extent. That being said, I realize that some readers don’t like unresolved conflicts in a series, especially when they have to wait for the next book to be released, and they are entitled to their opinion. But it is not my intention to frustrate anyone!
I think, maybe, that Viper’s Creed caused some of this tension because it does end abruptly and the story arc continues into Volcrian’s Hunt. You’re right, I probably could have planned that out better. But the next books in the series are looking like they are going to be quite a bit longer than the last few, perhaps 120,000-140,000 words (which, by the way, would be VERY hard to publish as Young Adult Fantasy if I were to go the traditional route.) So I guess I’ve learned my lesson: traditional models of publishing, especially in regards to word-length, can be bent. I am hearing you guys–you want longer books. So from here on out, that’s what I will try my very best to do, while staying true to the story (of course.)
So your thoughts, reviews and letters DO matter, and your feedback helps me navigate the books to come. Thank you for being honest reviewers and readers, and I look forward to continuing the series. Thank you for reading!