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I am finishing up a story that looks to be only about 20-25000 words. Would this then be a short story? And what can I do as far as publishing for such a short story?
Is there a market for a book of this length, and what is that market like?

Sharon J

From what I've heard, they still count "white space" here in the UK. In other words, the old 250 words per page system using Courier 12px. ~Sharon

Crawford Kilian

Jeremy, your story sounds like a novelette. Once upon a time when pulp magazines ruled the earth, the pulps were a serious market for such fiction. Now it would be very hard to sell something this length except (maybe) to an anthology of original stories.

Such anthologies sometimes accept work from unknown/unpublished writers, but they seem to prefer well-known writers. Wish I could be more encouraging.


I have wrote a book. It contains 191 pages without double space. How many pages do you think I will have if it was double spaced?

Crawford Kilian

A double-spaced version would run between 380 and 400 pages, Tiffany. It would depend slightly on a couple of factors.

Normally each chapter starts on a new page, so some pages might be shorter than average. Also, it's a good idea not to split paragraphs between pages if it means only one line of the paragraph will appear on a particular page.

So if you've got a five-line paragraph with one line at the bottom of page 60, and four lines at the top of page 61, push the whole paragraph over to page 61. Editors find this easier to read and proofread.

carol goodman

I am writing a fiction novel in the "I" form. Does the prologue have to be written in the same form?

Crawford Kilian

Not at all. The prologue can be third person, second person, whatever. In Bleak House, Dickens uses first-person past tense for part of the story, told by Esther Summerson, and third-person present tense for the rest, told by a nameless omniscient narrator.

Elisa Young

I have a great passion for writing fiction and am starting what I'd like to be a short novel now. I've seen the terms, "novelle" and "novelette" thrown around. How long does my book have to be for either and what do publishers have a demand for now? Please advise. Thank you in advance!

Crawford Kilian

I'm not familiar with the term "novelle," and I've explained "novelette" in the original post.

In the fields I know about (SF and fantasy), novelettes don't have much of a market—unless you're a well-established author compiling a collection. Ursula K. Le Guin can put together a couple of novelettes with some short stories and offer a very worthwhile book. It's not likely to happen with an unknown.

The sole exceptions: Maybe you could sell a 25,000-word novelette to one of the few remaining genre magazines, or to the editor of a "theme" anthology.

Diana Morris

I have a fiction novellet approx 21,000 words. Love story that involves domestic violence. For what I am reading I need to add to this book. Correct?

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