• Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us!

Thoughts on packaging a novella with short stories

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
I am thinking about including short stories alongside my upcoming novellas as it seems like a good way to push those shorts into public circulation. In addition, it gives the prospective reader more to read at their leisure should they wish to. My question to you all is what your expectations are of such a book (novella + shorts), and how closely aligned you would want both to be? Would it bother you if the stories are only thematically related, but do not take place in the same setting?
 

Mad Swede

Maester
You can have the stories related by a theme of some sort, and an example of that would be the short story collection Nightmare Town by Dashiell Hammett. I rather like it, it isn't his best known collection but it does contain some of his most interesting stories.

Provided your stories are good enough I as a reader don't mind the if the stories are only thematically related. But if some of the stories are weak then having the same setting and maybe some of the same characters might help hold the collection together.
 
This reminds me of an author by whom I have read most of the translated works. - Haruki Murakami. I think he started out by writing short stories, and he’s well known for them. To relate this to your post, for me as a reader, I loved diving into his ‘world’ where he explores similar themes, but set in different stories. ‘After Dark’ is my favourite collection. I’ve also read quite a few of his short stories that have since evolved to become novels or part of longer works. There has been many a time where I’ve read about a character origin. That’s exciting for me as a reader and it feels like I’ve found an Easter egg or two. So I would say yes to a series of short stories.
 

pmmg

Vala
I've read books that were only shorts in the past. Those typically had a theme to them. I also know people who have done this. I cant think of why this would be bad idea. Less, maybe the stories are already sold to someone else.
 

ThinkerX

Myth Weaver
The term is 'anthology.' And yes, they are quite popular, though many tend to be reprinted of works that appeared in magazines. Lovecraft's 'Cthulhu' mythos is one example, as is Leiber's 'Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser' series. For that matter, I intend to bundle some of my novella length works with shorter tales - the novella market is not that great.
 

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
I am well aware of anthologies Thinker, but I am specifically referring to a novella paired with a single or a maximum of two short stories, whereas anthologies are typically a collection of short stories. I am wondering if that mismatch in length means much to readers if the binding element is just thematic. It wouldn't be to myself and from what I can read most others, but I figured it was worth asking. I reckon I will move forward with what I intended to do. It seems like few folks mind.
 
Last edited:

Ned Marcus

Inkling
I think it's a good idea. If the stories are thematically related, then I'd enjoy having more to read. I think many people would. This used to be fairly common with traditionally published SF, but I've not seen it in a while. I've been considering the same sort of thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ban

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
Why only one or two? Is that all you've got available at the moment or is there another reason?
Because I wish to deliver a cohesive product. The stories have to align with the main novella (though in theme, not setting) otherwise I would find it somewhat unprofessional. An unabridged anthology would be a better idea for me further in the future.
 
Last edited:

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
This used to be fairly common with traditionally published SF, but I've not seen it in a while. I've been considering the same sort of thing.
Glad to hear there's a precedent to it. So far I have only ever come across novella + short story bundlings when published posthumously as a sort of "author's greatest hits." These bundlings have gone out of favour in recent times, which makes it fun to help bring it back.
 
Top