Today I want to expand on the topic Amber Skyzes brought up yesterday about “Quickies”.
“Quickie” is the term Ellora’s Cave uses for short form fiction that runs between 7-15 K or approximately 25-50 pages. A Quickie is a whole other art form away from a novel. The structure, the pacing and reader expectations must be adjusted accordingly. Think of a Quickie as a beautifully prepared hor d'oeuvre meant to deliver a burst of flavor-it's NOT a four-course meal. It’s an opportunity to sample a new genre or author at little cost or investment of time.
As the market for ebooks booms more new readers from the paperback world arrive everyday. Many bring their familiar reading standards and expectations with them. They expect big stories that need 400 pages to play out. There’s nothing wrong with that but readers do need to have realistic expectations. Few authors can deliver a big plot, character development and sensual scenes with a fully realized happy ending in only 7-15K. We can only give readers a taste, make hints and hopefully make a few vivid impressions.
I read a book review several days ago where the reviewer said she loved the Quickie and that it was beautifully written, but she gave it 3 out of 5 simply BECAUSE it was a Quickie! I thought it was very unfair and ignorant of the reviewer to diminish the author’s value. Short fiction should be judged as short fiction-it’s a separate format as different as television is from film.
I’ve also been saddened to receive low marks on a Quickie not because the reader didn't like it but because it was a “short read”. One woman said she loved “Adult Education” but gave it one star because it was “too short”. She did take the time to write me and apologize “for having to do that”. She has no idea how hard I worked to trim words and struggled to fit a full experience into only 15K. I actually came within 30 words of my limit and had to leave a little wiggle room for the final lines editor to do her work. There seems to be an idea out there that Quickie authors need to be punished for being lazy... Please folks this just isn’t the case. We‘re trying to entertain readers and introduce ourselves in a fast affordable manner.
I firmly believe there's a place for Quickies. They’re a great introduction to an author's writing style. Every e-author should have one. They are a quick thrill during a lunch break and they make great fodder for mixed author anthologies. Short fiction is the driving engine of the emerging ebook market and it’s an evolving art form. The human eye and mind process an ebook very differently from a print book. Quickies need to judged for what they are—quality short fiction. Think of them as gemstones or special treats where quality outweighs quantity.
PS Two Lips Reviews gave “Beautiful Stranger” 5 Kisses and I’m thrilled!