Long Novella or Short Novel?

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jonxihama

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My current WIP was supposed to be an a adult sci-fi novel, but at my current pace the final word count will be 45k-55k. From all I've read, traditionally published SFF is supposed to be 80k+ for novels or <40K for novellas. My sense of the industry, which very much could be wrong, is that YA novellas are much more popular right now than adult novellas, at least for debut authors. I know I shouldn't try to time the market, but my research seems to discourage the novella route. From what I've read, adult novellas are typically short story collections from authors with an audience already. I very much don't have an audience, and this novella is one story that just happens to be too short for a trad pubbed adult novel.

I'm leaning towards finishing this WIP as a novella and querying the handful of SFF agents that have sold adult novellas. Do you think this is a good plan?
 

Mutive

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While novels are, I think, more publishable than novellas (someone more business oriented than I will hopefully answer shortly to give some idea as to the stats/odds), science fiction novellas definitely are published by trade publishers. (Tor, for instance, has a number of articles with that tag - https://www.tor.com/tag/tor-com-novellas/ ) They're also sometimes published by various science fiction magazines.
 

stephenf

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I like Novellas and a lot classic science fiction are, by modern standards, short novels Orwell's 1984 was typical at 89000 words . Novellas , that under 50000 words have always been hard to sell to publishers . Self pub is an option but some very small publishers publish novellas as do some magazines . It is worth looking at submission grinder to find a publisher.