E-reader owners share a common characteristic: as a group, they want a fun, fast read. Consequently, the length of the traditional novel is shrinking for e-books, from the print book standard of 80,000 to 120,000 words to the shorter e-book equivalent of 50,000 to 60,000.
E-reader owners often read on the fly–on the beach, on the plane, in the car, on the train, on vacation. These readers, as a group, prefer books that can be read quickly, in a day or two.
The new author who figures this out has a couple of advantages.
First, traditional print publishers are slow to offer titles in e-format. Print publishers dislike the e-publishing industry and resist aiding its development. Only best sellers in tree books get quickly converted to e-books. New authors who contract themselves to a traditional print publisher may never see their titles in e-format until their contract expires, reducing the writer’s exposure in the marketplace.
In negotiating terms with the traditional print publisher, new writers should retain e-book rights or require the return of the rights to the author if the print publisher doesn’t exercise the option to e-publish the book within a set time frame.
Second, an author can produce more material for sale in the e-book environment. In theory, a writer can produce two 50,000 word books in the same time it takes to create one 100,000 word manuscript. A smart writer will find a way to cut a longer manuscript into two connected stories, and have two stand alone books for sale simultaneously. Readers who like one book are going to buy the other. It doubles the creator’s income.
Finally, readers who own electronic devices also buy short stories. A typical 7,000 word short story can be sold via e-booksellers like Amazon.com.
I hope you have found a few helpful strategies here for your own book business.