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Expanding the story with e-novellas / short novels



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  #1  
Old May 13th, 2014, 3:05 am
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Expanding the story with e-novellas / short novels

A not-so-new trend I've noticed is the growing popularity of e-novellas / short novels / Kindle Singles that expand on popular books - largely YA books, but also fantasy and literary fiction.

Series such as Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone has one, Veronica Roth's Divergent has several, and even Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore has one. These stories often depict a smaller character’s backstory or the point of view of a character other than the published novel’s protagonist.

Questions:
1. Are these exclusive e-books adding something new and essential to the series?

2. Do you think this new format is providing a good way to keep readers interested in-between published books.

3. Do you read these, or are you a purist with the original story?

4. What books / characters would you like to see an e-novella written for?

5. Do you think JKR should hop on this bandwagon with Harry Potter?


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Old May 17th, 2014, 8:11 pm
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Re: Expanding the story with e-novellas / short novels

And of course after I started the topic, I got an email from a friend letting me know that Gayle Forman's Just One Day/ Just One Year series will have an e-novella - Just one Night. Both books left the reader wanting more, more, more. I hope this short doesn't disappoint.

Quote:
Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter.
But then that goes to my first question - does this add something new or essential to the series? I feel like I'm DYING to know, but then again, I also like making up what I want to happen. I will read it regardless, because it will be out there, I guess I'll just have to wait and see.


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Old May 17th, 2014, 8:56 pm
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Re: Expanding the story with e-novellas / short novels

It's not new. For years authors have been publishing shorts and novellas which expand on their different universes. These have usually been in genre mags or anthologies like Robert Silverberg's Legends and Far Horizons collections. E-books have made them more accessible to the general reading public.

Are they worth it? It depends on the story really. To take an example from the first Legends -- "The Little Sisters of Eluria". Set in Stephen King's Dark Tower world, it doesn't add to the story in the sense that you don't have to know the events to enjoy the series, but it's a good stand alone story.


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Old May 20th, 2014, 8:26 pm
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Re: Expanding the story with e-novellas / short novels

I know that it's not a new thing - but I guess the ebook aspect of it is fairly new. ˘99 for additional story is a perfect amount - like buying a song on iTunes. I'm guessing the YA genre has really embraced this because there is a huge push these days for series, the books come years apart from each other, and the franchises want to keep fandom involved as long as possible. Also, think of the profit. If a full price hardcover book is $18.00 (YA price point) and 80 or so pages can sell for $1 - this has got to be a safe but profitable revenue stream.

I know JRK said her HP story line days are over, but we've seen her have fun here and there with the story - for example with the marauders with that postcard thing she did several years ago. She owns the ebook rights to her material, and it makes me wonder if anyone ever pitched the idea to her, she'd be open to writing some novellas about other parts of canon. And as I'm typing I'm realizing that she is sort of doing this already - or at least furthering character development - on Pottermore.

Still, I'd love to see a novella series on early Voldemort era or post LV era. Or even during the Harry/LV war, one on what Lupin was up to. Or the full story on Dumbledore and the ring horcrux. One can always hope!


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Old May 26th, 2014, 3:16 am
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Re: Expanding the story with e-novellas / short novels

I've actually not delved into the realm of ebooks much, so I don't know what's out there. I'd love to read short stories set in the Potter world, particularly about the Marauders and the OotP in the first Voldemort war. There are a number of other series that I'd love to read more about. I'd consider any short stories written to be additional material to supplement the story, and if they're written by the original authors (which I assume they probably would be), I'd consider them just as canonical as the published story. Overall, I think it's a good idea, both to keep fans entertained until the next book is published, or to expand the world created by the author, especially if such details couldn't didn't fit into the original book.


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