One of the interesting things about self-publishing is the redefinition of what a "book" is. Many people are self-publishing short stories, either alone or in collections; people are selling novellas (20,000-40,000 words); they're selling huge 200K-plus works. Length doesn't really matter in an electronic format. The pricing is whatever the buyers think is fair. The length is whatever the story needs, no more and no less. No longer do we need to cut work to fit the page count, or pad with extra scenes because the book is "too short" to be marketable. It's up to the writer--and the reader--to decide if the story works.
One of the things I am doing now is deciding how to market my "Deeds of the Ariane" stories. These are a series of fantasy stories about a band of magical women swordfighters whose mission is to protect the royal family of the Silver Isle. I had been trying to write them as a trilogy of novels (about 250,000 words total), but now I'm thinking I might try selling each section as a novella, and releasing them on a monthly or bi-monthly basis (thanks, Genene, for that idea!).
Do you have any pet peeves about story length? Do you prefer a quick read, or one you can get wrapped up in for a long time? As an author, how would you feel about doing something like Charles Dickens did, releasing a chapter a week of a book, without fail? Would you find the idea of writing a serialized novel fun, or scary? (I'd find it both!)
A quick note: There's a brand-new magazine about indie romance novels, called InD'tale. They reviewed my book, "The Honeymoon Cottage," for their first issue. (Yay!) You can get a free subscription for a limited time at their website.
Barbara Cool Lee