How Long Is a Short Story and How Long Should Your Novel Be When You Self Publish on Amazon?

Learn how to self publish on Amazon in 2020 by finding out about short stories and novel sizes.

Self published Amazon short stories known as “short reads” range anywhere between 2750 to 25,000 words, whereas a range of 50,000 words or more is the general length for the typical Amazon novel.

So how is a writer supposed to decide if they should start by self publishing a short story on Amazon, or if they should automatically try to self publish a full length novel? This article will inform you on some details to help you make the right decision.

2020 Self publishing Trends

It’s no secret, that 2020 can expect to see a lot of diversity when it comes to self publishing trends. This diversity applies to the types of genres that creative authors are choosing to write in, that’s why it helps to read more books and stay abreast of what other authors are doing.

But the diversity in 2020 also applies to the self publishing format of an authors’ work of fiction, based on the length of their publication.

According to one review journal’s article When Is a Short Story Too Long, a short story can range anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 words.

This had reference more so to traditional publishing, however, nowadays, regardless of how it’s published, writing and publishing short stories have become sensible alternatives to laboring for months (and even years) on one novel.

Novels Versus Short Stories

When it comes to self publishing novels versus short stories, not every expert agrees about the benefits of publishing a short story, instead of a full length novel.

For instance, under the heading “How long should a Kindle book be,” TCK Publishing states: “In my experience, individual short stories don’t tend to sell well on Kindle compared to novels.”

That may sound well and good, if you’re a writer and the proud parent of a newly completed manuscript that actually surpasses the 50,000-word count.

But what if your book manuscript just fell short of 50,000 words or only made it to the halfway point? Could you and should you choose to self publish a short story, novelette or novella instead? Personally, I say yes, and hell yes!

How Long is a Short Novel?

Any author, new or existing, can tell you that sometimes it’s hard to pump the brakes on your writing, and finally type the words the end. Stories should end when they end, and not because of a set word count.

So what happens if you make it to the end of your work of fiction, and it doesn’t meet the standard word count for a novel, but you feel it’s longer than a short story?

You can choose to self publish it on Amazon as a sort of short novel. This is typically referred to as a novelette, which is usually 7500 to 17000 words.

You also have the option of self publishing it as a novella, if it exceeds the maximum amount for a novelette, but still doesn’t meet the word-count criterial for a full length novel.

Easier Amazon Self publishing

There are lots and lots of questions that new writers and aspiring authors ask when it comes to self publishing on Amazon. Some of the most popular queries include:

  • How much does it cost to self publish on Amazon?
  • How much money can you make from a self published book?
  • How do you make money self publishing on Amazon?

I believe one of the most important questions is “how easy is it to publish a book on Amazon?” The answer to this question can prompt you to get started right away, because when it comes to self publishing on Amazon, it’s a whole lot easier than you think.

As the above information has brought out, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to worry about writing a long drawn out manuscript or creating a novel that’s an entire saga or book series. That means that self publishing a book on Amazon can be as easy as you allow it to be.

Self Publishing Quality

In the world of self publishing, it is not quantity that matters most, it is quality (just like anything else in life). You’re wrong if you think that publishing a short story, novelette or novella, is not as fulfilling as self publishing a full length novel.

New fantasy author Beka R. March can attest to the fact that if you produce a work of quality fiction, you will feel just as satisfied as an author.

This debut fantasy author  initially planned to write an entire novel during the 2019 National Novel Writing Month, however, the end result was a novella instead.

Unlike some writers who get discouraged by missed deadlines and unrealistic goals, she chose another alternative.

Solution to Procrastination

For some authors, publishing short stories, or shorter novels can be the solution to procrastination. The decision to self publish Tell Us the Mermaid Story as a shorter novel turned out just fine.

Instead of procrastinating and therefore, never completing the manuscript at all, the mermaid novella has already been self published and is currently available for purchase on Amazon. 

So if you’ve been wrestling with the question of how long is a short story, or how long should your novel be when you self publish on Amazon, my advice is not to worry about it.

Write something from beginning to end, that you’re pleased and proud to publish. Then, when the work is done, you can determine whether it should be a novel, a novelette, a novella, or a short story like the Amazon short reads.

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