In Defense of the Novella

With e-books beginning to dominate the publishing world, the rise of the novella was likely inevitable. Priced just right and the perfect length to read on a short flight, or as a break between chores, it makes sense that publishers are encouraging authors to build their brand with these quick and easy reads.

Of course, next comes the inevitable backlash — and we’ve heard from plenty of readers who are tired of the number of novellas proliferating the market. Of course, character and story development will always be better in full-length novels, where authors have the page count to truly explore their themes. But I’ve been really happy lately with several of the novellas I’ve read. They’ve made for a fun, uncomplicated treat — a perfect pick-me-up at the end of a long day.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the complicated characters and complex plots cooked up by talented authors like Eloisa James, Connie Brockway and Courtney Milan. But sometimes you just need something short, sweet and to the point — a quick escape that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face. That’s why I’m excited to see so many of my favorite historical romance authors turning their talents to novellas. "Seduced By a Pirate", a November e-book novella by Eloisa James, made me sigh aloud in happiness during on otherwise unremarkable bus ride between New York and D.C. (Apologies to the person on my left!) And I was so happy to see three of my all-time favorite historical authors — Eloisa James, Connie Brockway and Julia Quinn — joining forces up for a hilarious tale in The Lady Most Willing. The interconnected stories made for three delightful evenings laughing out loud — much to my husband’s amusement. And in September, uber-talented authors Courtney Milan, Carolyn Jewel and Sherry Thomas teamed up to self-publish a collection of novellas titled Midnight Scandals.

This fall has truly served up a cornucopia of short yet satisfying stories for historical romance fans. If you’re looking for a brief break from holiday madness, grab your e-reader, pull up a chair and dig in!

Looking for more great e-books? Visit our Everything E-book Page. And you can catch the latest genre news and coverage on our Everything Romance Page!