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inkpen
11-22-2011, 05:56 AM
I am planning on writing a collection of novellas next year. Altogether there will be five and a short story. I was wondering about what kind of agent I should query for this project. Would I contact agents that represent short stories or should I still go after agents as if I have an actual whole novel on my hands?

I plan on completing a novel before this project and hope that one will finally be the one like I have since I started writing, but you never know.

astonwest
11-22-2011, 06:49 AM
From what I understand, most agents won't take on novellas (or collections thereof). I'd recommend sending the novellas to collections that publishers are asking for submissions to, and submit to the agents after you have the novel ready (and hopefully the novellas will be published in the collections by then).

Just my two cents...

Asha Leu
11-22-2011, 07:11 AM
Anthologies of just one author's work are rarely published unless the author has already had enough success as a writer that there would be some sort of market for their short fiction. Unless you've already had a (relatively) successful novel published, you would likely find it extraordinarily difficult to find agents willing to represent it or publishers willing to buy it (unless the novellas/stories are linked to such an extent that the whole could be read as a novel in its own right).

I second Astonwest's advice - focus on getting them published individually in magazines or anthologies that feature short fiction, and then turn your attention to collecting them together.

MJNL
11-22-2011, 07:17 AM
Dittoing the other two if you are focusing on traditional publishing.

And to clarify: A collection contains one author's work. An anthology contains stories by several authors.

areteus
11-22-2011, 01:27 PM
Many small press publishers take novellas for ebook publication and if they like number one they will likely take the series. Though can you not work it all into one long novel rather than several novellas?

Stijn Hommes
11-22-2011, 04:04 PM
Don't bother with an agent. You're more likely to sell directly to a small publisher yourself.

Elaine Margarett
11-22-2011, 04:20 PM
Just wanted to say, welcome to the cooler!

EM,
waving "Hi!"

Jamesaritchie
11-22-2011, 04:59 PM
I think you're getting way ahead of yourself. "Planning to write" means you shouldn't even be think about an agent, no matter what the project is. First you write and finish, then you think about an agent, a publisher, or anything else.

But as others have said, you won't likely find an agent for such a collection. I can't remember reading a collection of five novellas, for that matter, no matter who the writer is. King comes close, but doesn't get there.

Anyway, planning a collection of any type in advance is usually futile. First you write stories, then you sell the stories. Then, and only then, do you put together what you've sold to form a collection.

inkpen
11-23-2011, 07:12 AM
Thanks for the responses.

I'll probably end up pushing that project further back. The novellas would be fairly short and would actually be really close to just being long short stories. That is why I was planning on five of them.

gyulameszaros
11-23-2011, 02:51 PM
Don't forget self publishing. Indie publishing is on the rise. If you are OK with that.

inkpen
11-24-2011, 05:48 AM
I'm not sure I would have much success with the self publishing thing, but there's probably another board for questions about that. I'll have to go there and inquire more about it, since I was seriously looking into it for awhile after writing my last novel.

I think Jamesaritchie is right. Just getting the stories out should be more of a concern right now.

hyperchord24
11-30-2011, 05:36 PM
I'll throw a question out there. If you haven't published yet, aren't the chances of getting a novella or novellette published very small? Don't magazines feel better about 5000 words or less from first time authors?

I ask this because I just finished a sci-fi piece and it clocks in at around 11 K words. It's my first story that long so I have a feeling I could cut it down rather than sell it as is.

MJNL
11-30-2011, 08:06 PM
I'll throw a question out there. If you haven't published yet, aren't the chances of getting a novella or novellette published very small? Don't magazines feel better about 5000 words or less from first time authors?

I ask this because I just finished a sci-fi piece and it clocks in at around 11 K words. It's my first story that long so I have a feeling I could cut it down rather than sell it as is.

Heard of the Writers of the Future contest? They'd be just your market.

But yes, in general, there are far fewer venues that accept novellas or novelettes as compared to short stories.

hillaryjacques
11-30-2011, 10:16 PM
I am planning on writing a collection of novellas next year. Altogether there will be five and a short story. I was wondering about what kind of agent I should query for this project. Would I contact agents that represent short stories or should I still go after agents as if I have an actual whole novel on my hands?

I plan on completing a novel before this project and hope that one will finally be the one like I have since I started writing, but you never know.

Focus on the writing and editing first. Worry about the market later. Who knows. It may have changed by the time the stories are ready. :)

I will agree with what some others have said here, that debut collections are difficult in the traditional marketplace. But, there are a lot of small presses and electronic presses that love novellas.

I'll throw a question out there. If you haven't published yet, aren't the chances of getting a novella or novellette published very small? Don't magazines feel better about 5000 words or less from first time authors?

I ask this because I just finished a sci-fi piece and it clocks in at around 11 K words. It's my first story that long so I have a feeling I could cut it down rather than sell it as is.

I'd say it depends on what type of publication/publisher you're submitting to. Magazines that typically publish short stories and occasionally publish novellas might only accept longer pieces from established authors. However, there are a number of publishers actively seeking novellas, with an eye on the quality of the story not the the pub credentials of the author.

11K falls into that long short story/novellette category, and the list of publishers for that length is slightly shorter. Can you either trim (to get it under 10K) or expand (to 15K+)?

Polenth
11-30-2011, 10:27 PM
I'll throw a question out there. If you haven't published yet, aren't the chances of getting a novella or novellette published very small? Don't magazines feel better about 5000 words or less from first time authors?

There are fewer markets for longer works, but your newness isn't the issue. If they like it, they'll buy it.

Ralph Pines
12-28-2011, 08:13 PM
Is there a market for e-pub+novellas? I'm asking because I have one that I don't think (do to length a mere 50k) can be sold as a full-length book but would be perfect as an e-pub.

If this is the wrong forum for the question, I would appreciate any hints in the right direction.

Thank you!

veinglory
12-28-2011, 08:14 PM
There is a market to the extent that lots of epublishers will accept novella submissions. But keep your eye on the bottom line--not many of them will sell many copies.

Ralph Pines
12-28-2011, 08:23 PM
There is a market to the extent that lots of epublishers will accept novella submissions. But keep your eye on the bottom line--not many of them will sell many copies.

Seems like a waste of time then, at least if you go that route. How about self-publishing in electronic formats?

SakuraReyna
12-29-2011, 04:14 AM
Yes, there is a market for epub novellas. Smashwords.com and Amazon.com sell many of them. If you want an example of a trilogy of novellas that are selling moderately well right now, check out The Shimmer Trilogy by Kimberly Spencer.

eward
12-29-2011, 09:28 AM
Seems like a waste of time then, at least if you go that route. How about self-publishing in electronic formats?

Unless you have quite a few novellas (or novels or short stories or some other books to support your novella), self-publishing could be just as much of a waste. I've had a novella out for three months and sold about 34 copies. I'm willing to bet if I went with an established e-publisher like Carina Press (although they are rather new compared to some other e-pubs), I would have sold more by now ;) But I wanted to explore that avenue and I plan to self-publish more books.

I wrote a blog post back in January about markets for novellas: http://wordsofeward.blogspot.com/2011/01/finding-fiona-markets-for-novellas.html There's a short list of e-publishers there. I haven't checked to see if they're all still active and looking, and most of the ones posted there only accept spec fic, but it's worth a look! Always check a publisher here at AW!

jaksen
12-30-2011, 05:25 AM
I just want to chime in - even though my contribution is sort of meaningless - that I've had several novellas published, but the magazine I write for calls them short stories or short fiction. I always thought of them as 'long' short stories.

My point being, some publishers will publish novellas in their magazines. If they like the story, that is.

My stories are in AHMM and EQMM.

(My most recent was in Jan/Feb 2012.)