I want to write my book series as a series of short novellas (about 150 pages each) with each book forming part of the storyline.

The majority of books written with comparable lengths are intended for a younger demographic who may not be able to finish a longer story.

However, my series will be targeted towards an older audience (teenagers and adults). I am concerned that publishers will be unwilling to publish my book series since I have not seen young adult literature written in this format before.

Each book in my series will have a different "feel" to it, which is why I am planning to release it in this format. The only alternative I could think of is publishing the novellas in an anthology, but the novellas do not feel interconnected enough to publish in one volume.

I am also planning to include maps and fictional documents as an addendum at the end of each book as a substitute for illustrations.

Has any commercially successful young adult series used this format before? If so, has the publishing market significantly changed since then?

1 Answer 1


Lois M. Bujold's "Penric and Desdemona" series now consists of 10 novellas and no novels, although there three earlier (in publication order) novels in the same setting, one abut 100 years earlier in internal time, and two about 150 years later. These are defiantly not aimed at a younger audience, and seem to be doing well. Of course Bujold is a winner of multiple awards. In fact I believe she has tied Heinlein for the most "Best Novel" Hugo awards, so a new author might not do as well.

The scene where Penric (a man), posing as a female courtesan keeps a potential adversary entertained all night -- well enough that he proposes a permanent relationship the next day -- would alone indicate that this is not aimed at a youth market.

In any case, this example indicates that such a series can be economically feasible.

  • How true that she was already a known author by the time she ventured into this. That is always a contributing factor.
    – Mary
    Oct 31, 2021 at 16:15
  • @Mary Quite true, not merely known, but top-rannked, not midlist. Still this is just one example. I should aslo not ethat the Bujold series was first published in ebook form, and were later issued in physical books, I think three per volume. The most recent one came out this year, see jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/what-fire-begets-this-fire for some details. Still that proves such a thing is at least possible. Oct 31, 2021 at 16:35

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