A Little Post About Book Length

Kristen Painter just did a great post about book pricing for her readers because of questions they’ve had. It’s HERE if you’re curious…wait! Don’t click that yet. Stick around and come back to it 😉

I’d been thinking about the conversations I’d been having with readers over the last few years and the one that seems to always hit me is about how I write novellas. So, I thought I’d do a post about book lengths.

I will say, for those of you who haven’t read my books, they’re fast paced, quick dialogue, I try to create a lot of good pacing and white space on the page — I want them to read fast.

But, a fast read doesn’t always equal a short book.

So, for a little background information, here’s the current definitions of a novel:

Most lit pubs call anything over 50k words a novel (although I’ve recently learned that some genres, like Mystery, go as low as 38,000 words for a novel.)

RWA (Romance Writers of America – the premiere writer’s and publisher’s group for Romance writers) defines the contemporary lengths like this:

Short Contemporary:  40,000 and 56,000 words
Mid-Length Contemp: 56,000 and 84,000 words
Long Contemporary: over 84,000 words

They don’t define the length for their “novella” category, but I can tell you my novella is about 25,000 words and my short stories range from 8,000 to 12,000 words.

So, you’re looking at those and, if you’ve read my books, you’re thinking – I bet the Brew Books are xxxx words long.

Okay, everyone has a guess, right?

Both full length Brew books are roughly 75,000 words. OR, at the upper end of the mid-length (or the standard length) category where the majority of books sit OR THREE TIMES the length of the novella.

So, beyond the “quick read” thing, Bria, I can see your page count is lower than a lot of books that you’d tell me are the same length.

Yup. That’s true. And I can totally tell you why — I’m not big on other stuff in my books. I don’t like to get to the end of the book and there be 15 pages of stuff to go. It throws me as a reader. Oddly I LOVE experts, I just don’t like them in the books I’m reading. Give me a link to an exceprt and I will click the snot out of it every time.

So, if you open one of my books,  you’ll see there’s 2 maybe 3 pages before the story starts and sometimes the story literally ends on the last page. Nothing else. Just the book.

Amazon counts those other pages in their page count — which means, maybe I need to start thinking about putting stuff in there so my books look longer.

Anyway, I get a lot of questions about why I write only novellas, so I thought it made sense to put this out there for those who are curious.

I guess this is a great place to ask my readers: DO you want more stuff at the back of the book? Should I add excerpts and blurbs and stuff? Should I add reviewer quotes at the front? Is that stuff you want in there?

Anyway – back to the word writing!



  1. Hi Bria!
    I love your stories!! Their pacing is amazing. They fulfill happy.

    Don’t care about reviews.

    Paperback to digital, I’ve always loved an excerpt of the next book or previous book or random awesome book. It let’s me know where to get my next book, even if I’m just headed to the library.

    …oh, and I almost never click links. LOL 😀 😀 😀

    • Bria Quinlan says

      @BETH – really about the links? I’m such a link-sucker it’s not even funny!

      Thank you for the kind words – and the info. Glad you chimed in. This is the stuff I want to know 🙂

  2. One excerpt of the next book is nice, if it’s just a few pages. (Hate it when novellas end prematurely and you have pages and pages of the next two books in the series)

    Reviews in front are only nice if they are witty/Tell me more about the book.

    But it’s ultimately the story that does or doesn’t, for me. And here’s where you rock, Bria! (Not just your stories – anything you say anywhere’s so interesting and fun to read!)

    • Bria Quinlan says

      Thanks Carol 🙂 I’ll try to be interesting and funny *panics*

      So, another no on the front reviews but yest to stuff at the back… I think I may have to repub my paper copies!

  3. I don’t care about reviews at the beginning. I do like teaser chapters for other books by the same author – or even other books by related authors – at the end. In fact, if I read a teaser chapter I’m way more likely to go to Kobo immediately to buy the next book or the related book, whereas if there is no teaser chapter I probably won’t.

    • Bria Quinlan says

      Taffygirl…. I’m seeing theme for stuff in the back!

      Looks like I’m adding *something* to my paper books going forward.


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