A Not-So-Short Story

The Alex Verus short story that I’ve been working on is done! 

However, it turns out I underestimated how long it was going to be.  The unedited version is 17,500 words long, which is less ‘short story’ and more on the borderline between ‘novelette’ and ‘novella’ – it’s about 20% the length of a full Alex Verus novel, which is quite a lot more than I was expecting.  It was more work than I was planning on, but I’m glad I did it – it was interesting to write Alex Verus’s world from the viewpoint of someone else.  

Now that the story’s done, I’m deciding what to do with it.  I’m probably going to make it available online, but I haven’t decided exactly where – at the moment the main options I’m considering are Kindle, Patreon, and my own website right here.  It needs a bit of editing and formatting first, so it’ll take a little while regardless.  This first story is probably going to function as a sort of testing-the-waters experiment – depending on what sort of response it gets, I’ll decide whether to write more.

In the meantime, I’ve got a couple more author commentaries written and ready to go.  I’m going to be out of the country for a couple of weeks, but I’ve put both pieces on this blog and set them to auto-publish, so they should come out automatically over the next two Fridays.  The first is an ‘interlude’ piece looking at the release of Alex Verus #1, #2, and #3 in 2012, and the second is the commentary on Alex Verus #4, Chosen.  Hopefully they’ll come out on schedule, but if not, I’ll fix it when I get back!

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15 Responses to A Not-So-Short Story

  1. Celia says:

    Yay for a short story!!! 🙂 Personally I would prefer kindle but would happily read on any format!.

  2. Sharon says:

    Same here, kindle for preference, but will read anyway! Thanks

  3. You almost have to do kindle. I have a few stories available at my own blog. The die-hard fans show up anywhere! But for steady reads and reviews…kindle. I think putting it on Kobo, where you can also upload yourself, is totally worth it. I recently took two shorts and wrote a new one for the Sedona O’Hala series, put them in one volume and uploaded to Kindle. The stories were already available at my blog, but they just got lost there. Kindle will even make it free if you make it free elsewhere, contact them via the dashboard and ask them to price match. I’ve done it with Sage, which is fantasy and Sedona, which is cozy mystery. Sage gets more downloads on Kobo, Sedona way more on Kindle. So maybe genre can matter too. Of course, you need a cover, which can be a little bit of a pain, but they are fun to do or have done once you get used to it. All that said, I don’t think you need to make it free either. Or maybe put it up, see how it does and make it free years from now? Anyway congrats on finishing it and I can’t wait to read it! Oh–and when I see that it’s available, I’ll blog about it and spread the word!

  4. Kevin Thorne says:

    Definitely on Kindle, and either charge us, or list a Venmo somewhere…

    So eager for it.

  5. Laila says:

    This is very exciting news! I have a nice trip.

  6. Mary Carter says:

    Yep; I vote on Kindle, too.

  7. Jason Enberg says:

    Patreon would be fine too. Which ever is easier / better for you.

  8. Robert Mandell says:

    I’m all in! Kindle is most convenient, your fans will pay!
    I would pay half your usual novel price.

  9. Kat says:

    Whichever platform you choose, I will definitely be getting it!

  10. psychovision says:

    Sadly i dont own a kindle…. is it worth the investment since i enjoy a real book in my hands?

  11. Benedict says:

    Psycho: There isn’t much of a market for physical copies of novellas, sadly. (This is one of the reasons most writers don’t write them.) Pretty much the only writers who can get away with publishing novellas in print form are the ones who are so successful that they can sell literally anything, and even then the way they got to that point was by writing novels first.

    But if I do publish it on Kindle, you can still read it on any computer, phone, or tablet.

  12. Aaron Bass says:

    Subterranean Press for a possible physical copy? They do a lot of novelette/novella releases. I know that they do ebook’s as well.

  13. When you upload for Kindle, you can also create a print version. For the most part, you may want to combine two or three novellas before you do print because of the work involved and the cost per page. But it can be done. It’s a couple of extra days worth of work because you generally have to format differently and size your cover. If you work with an artist, you might want to get some sort of sizing agreement upfront in case of a print copy. Amazon has templates so you can send the templates at the same time as you spec the front cover. You’ll need a BACK to the book too for print and this can be stupidly hard after the face if you decide to do a print copy. Amazon also offers a funky cover creator. It would work too, but you can’t choose the cover art, not exactly. I do not sell anywhere close to what you sell and short stories even less, but I do sell print copies via Amazon of the novels. I combined all the short stories and novellas into one print book (Magical Mayhem) after I’d been writing several years. It was not very expensive to create. Looking forward to the story!

  14. Tim Emmitt says:

    Eagerly waiting for the opportunity to give you my money. 😀

  15. Andreas Ekberg says:

    Love this series! I was recommended it by some guys I happened to sit with at my uni pub about two years ago and I was at the time deep into Jim Butcher. I’ll have you know, that I’ve singlehandedly had my local library invest into every book by Butcher and now also every Alex Verus novel (we’re just waiting for Risen). Like some have said before, a collection of short and not so short short stories in an anthology is a great option! Butcher’s two such ones are fantastic and very popular. There’s no reason you can’t do the same. In fact, I personally believe that’s the absolute best way to go. I hope you will, because there are many good recommendations around here on short stories the fans, myself included, are dying to read. About Morden, Richard and Alex’s past for instance. It’d be a shame to leave those stories untold. Just the (for me) “recent” main books (I read half of the latter half of the series during 2021, and the last two in succession within the past two days) kept me a bit underslept, and happily so, and we’re so good I put off studying for a few days. Much love and appreciation from Sweden!

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