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Some Nuggets – 40K Submissions and Best-Selling Ebook Genres

Amongst my Tweets today was one from 40 K saying they are looking for submissions of novelettes and novellas in the following areas:

  • Sci-fi
  • Mystery
  • Thriller
  • Horror
  • Noir
  • “Smart” romance
  • Paranormal romance
  • “Smart” chick-lit.

A couple of definitions to help you here:

Novelette (a term first used by Robert Schumann for a piece of music) – 7,500 to 17,500 words of prose fiction.

Novella – longer than a novelette at 17,500 to 40,000 words of prose. Some defintions give up to 70,000 words. Doesn’t have to be divided into chapters. Usually fewer but more complicated conflicts than a novel. Stephen King describes the novella as “an ill-defined and disreputable literary banana republic”!

And just for interst, a novel is prose fiction of 40,000 words of more, although usually word count is higher than this. The count depends on the genre to a large extent. Thrillers are often around 100,000 words, while a mystery or lit-chick might be 60,000 to 80,000.

There’s a detailed guide on how to submit a top-notch query to them here.

I also happened across an excellent blog here which has a breakdown of best-selling genres. Derek Canyon looked at genres of books selling 1000+ copies a month, and these are respectively romance 16%, paranormal 15%, thriller 12%, mystery 12%, fantasy 8%, science fiction 7%, young adult 5%, comedy 4%. Horror, crime, non-fiction and historical have 3% of this market each, while urban fantasy, occult, contemporary, dating, commercial and biography have 1% each. This is certainly something to take on board. He also found that authors with 3 books or more are the most likely to be making the big sales of each book. So get those books out there!

 

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Publisher Review – 40K

40K publications have lively, in-your-face covers

40K began following me on Twitter. But before I returned the compliment, as I usually do I had a look to see what they are all about. 40K describes itself as an epublisher that specialises in publishing original short works. By ‘short works’ it means novelettes and essays, things that take 40 minutes to an hour to read. This has arisen because short stories and essays tend to get overlooked by traditional publishing houses, but they an equal right to be read.

I studied the short story as an undergrad at Oxford and I have to confess I never warmed to the genre. I felt such works of literature had hardly got going before they stopped. Too much was left unsaid. Now, I have as good an imagination as the next person so I was quite capable of filling the gaps, but that sort of DIY literature didn’t appeal.

But essays are a different matter. These don’t leave large holes. These are short because they’re strongly focused and concentrated. You may not agree with them, but you can admire the tight writing that has gone into them.

40K sells books in the following genres: essays for creative life including Any Fool can Write a Novel but it takes a Real Genius to Sell it, which is one I have to read; essays on authoring in the digital age, and fantasy, literary, sci-fi and steampunk short stories. Steam-what? Steampunk is a genre of sci-fi writing. It’s essentially Victorian sci-fi. The best description I’ve come across of it is here. Gibson and Sterling’s The Difference Engine is a prime example of the genre.

The publications have a very distinctive, modern look to them, as the cover at the top of this post shows.

So, this looks like an interesting publisher. I will definitely try out a few of their books. I’m open to reassessing my views of short stories. Who knows, maybe I’ll learn to love the novelette after all.

 

http://www.40kbooks.com/