I have to share this with you. Okay, some of you know that I started two new series: THE SECRET LIFE OF TRYSTAN SCOTT and SECRETS. These two series are different than my other series because these books are shorter, about 200 pages in mass paperback size (4.5 x 6) or 100 pages in trade paperback size (5×8). That’s not all that’s different about them.
Both series are books that have gotten TONS of awesome fan mail. Am I surprised? Yes. I did a twitter giveaway for these two series the other night and the “room” flooded with 100′s of people. Seriously. I’ve not had that happen before. It was nuts. And why? Because people are talking about these books.
Once in a while I get someone asking me why I made the books that size. It seems like a weird length. They aren’t short story size, but they aren’t big-fat-novel size either. There are a few reasons.
1. Both SECRETS and TRYSTAN SCOTT are concentrated Mature Young Adult/ New Adult books (yes, like kool-aide syrup before adding water). These aren’t written like other big novels that putter through a storyline, taking their time to get where they’re going. What does that mean? Well, take all the stuff you like about YA/ NA and multiply by 10. That’s what happens. You get a shot of pure young adult/ new adult. Instant gratification. No waiting for the story to get going. It’s the espresso of books.
2. Personally, as a reader, my time is important. I’ve been looking for this kind of book, long enough to flesh stuff out, but short enough to risk my time on a new author. Actually, that’s how I found several of my favorite authors – by buying books this length and realizing how much I liked the author’s writing. This length book isn’t new. If you look at the romance section, you’ll see mass paperback size books selling for $5.99 a pop that are the same length. Harlequin has been doing this for a while and honestly, I like it. There’s a time for a 750 page novel and there’s time for something shorter.
3. Here’s what you guys are saying about it. The books are addicting. They’re a pleasure filled burst of Trystan or Cole, with all the bad boy hotness that readers love. Mari and Anna are interesting characters, flawed like real people, trying to figure things out. In short, readers formed an emotional connection with these characters. I think that’s partly due to the length of the story. If I only have 20K words to convince you to love Cole and Anna, I better make each word count.
Are all my books going to be mini novels? No. The VAMPIRE APOCALYPSE series are 350 page books (trade paperback size 5×8). You can see the newest release in that series in the pic above, CATALYST. People complain that book is too short too, even though it’s well within normal. Why do some books feel short and others don’t? Dude, it’s simple; a book feels short when you fall in love with the characters. It ends and you flip over your kindle wanting more. That’s a good thing. Books always feel short when you’re sucked into the story, flipping pages as fast as you can.
Anyway, some of you wanted to know if everything is going to be one length from now on. The answer is no. I’m making the books the length they need to be to suit the story. BANE and CATALYST are about 65,000 words each. SECRETS and TRYSTAN SCOTT are between 20,000-25,000 words each, and told like tv episodes, with major stuff happening in each book. The fans have said they LOVE the shorter books for reading on the go, while working out, commuting, etc. where they don’t have a lot of time and need that junkie shot of happiness during their day. Who wouldn’t want that? And you don’t have to muddle through a 100 pages to get it. Each chapter has it’s own hoopla, romantic tension, and conflicts.
Thanks to everyone who sent me emails, facebook messages, and twitter posts telling me how much you enjoyed the mini novels. You guys totally rock! Have an awesome weekend!
For the all the books by H.M. Ward, click here.