(http://www.40kbooks.com/?attachmentid=12418)Joel Friedlander is a book designer, blogger and the author of A Self-Publisher’s Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish. Joel is the proprietor of Marin Bookworks in San Rafael, California, a publishing services company where he’s helped launch many self-publishers since 1994._ thebookdesigner.com | @jfbookman
Do you see some new possibilities for the short fiction market in digital publishing era? How is it changing?
Yes, short fiction is one of the fastest-growing formats in e-publishing. The move to e-books has undone the traditional ideas of what is publishable. Since there are no physical requirements, writers and publishers have gradually started to realize they can develop a market for shorter fiction, although it seems that indie authors are clearly leading the way here, publishing stories, novellas, novelettes and other short forms.
Do you think that readers are going to get used to interstitial reading?
I think this is happening in the real world all the time. All you have to do is watch anywhere that people are forced to line up, forced to wait for an appointment, between one activity and another. Immediately the smartphones appear, and everyone goes head-down looking for a few minutes diversion to occupy them. It's remarkable how quickly this has happened. Now many of those people might be checking Facebook or looking for some Angry Birds, but a lot of them are reading, too.
As a reader, do you enjoy short fiction? Why would you suggest to read it?
As soon as I got used to the idea that fiction can be pretty much any length, I started to appreciate the new forms that have started to pop up everywhere. Authors can get into print faster with short fiction, and we don't have to wait for a big work to be completely finished to get introduced to the story lines, characters and settings that will emerge in a larger work.
I also love the very very short fiction of people like Lou Beach, who posts 420-characters stories on Facebook that are a marvel of drama and concision. What's becoming apparent is that writers, freed from the demands of physical manufacturing or tradition, are focusing in even more on the "hook" to their stories. If all you have is a few thousand words, or 420 characters, you have no choice but to dive right in. Since these hooks are the mechanism whereby we are drawn into story in the first place, shortness is no disadvantage.
Story is the foundation of human experience. But some stories are long by their nature, others can be told in a moment. The more you have in common with your reader, the more of your story can be told by implication, and the shorter it might be. It's a fantastic time to be a writer and to be able to reach readers even in line at Starbucks with stories that can educate or enlighten, no matter how long or short they are.
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