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Cythera's Length

A reader asks, "It looks like Cythera is shorter than most of your books? What's with that?"

Yes, Cythera is the shortest novel I've done, about half the length of the biggest, Hand of Isis. That's just the length the story was. I was very much writing in the style of the pulpy Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton books I loved, and that's the length that was common before the GIANT FANTASY NOVEL took over. (Remember MZB's Witch Hill?) So yes, it's shorter. And it's erotic. (Just a reminder and a warning.)

One lovely thing about the new ebook publishers who also do print on demand -- length doesn't matter! I don't have to pad it out to make a certain word length or cut 20,000 words to make a print run profitable. The book can just be the length it is. For example, Silver Bullet is 12,000 words over what I would have been permitted at my last big house -- and that's ok! We didn't have to cut 12,000 words just to make length. Cythera is shorter, and I don't have to find some way to pad it out.

And it's out this week! Cythera will be out on Friday!

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
aishabintjamil
Oct. 27th, 2013 04:23 pm (UTC)
Even some e-book publishers have length requirements. I've just gotten back rights to my first novel. I'd envisioned it as around 125K, but the publisher didn't want to go over 100K, and said "Well, could you split it and make it two books?". I had stars in my eyes over being offered my first contract for anything bigger than a short story, and agreed. It turned out to be a mistake, or maybe a learning experience....

The first half didn't sell very well (hence the rights reversion letter), and all the feedback I got from readers who wrote to me was about the not feeling like the book ended. In the meantime I was having a really hard time figuring out how to open part 2, and wasted a lot of time spinning my wheels on it.

The silver lining is that after I whip the current project into shape to submit, I'm going back to the original concept for the first book - it's going to be one, fatter novel. I'll probably end up hiring an editor and self-publishing because I doubt I'll find a publisher who wants to take on a book which had the first half previously published by someone else.
jo_graham
Oct. 27th, 2013 04:38 pm (UTC)
Dropping you a private message....
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )