Feb 17, 2014

Posted by in Question | 10 Comments

Question – Prequel Novellas, Yay or Nay?

Question Visual Again

Sometimes, before a new series is launched, publishers decide to ask the author to write a prequel novella to introduce readers to the main characters, the world and the feel of the series.  It also is a good way to create buzz.

I have read a few, some before reading book one and others after reading book one.  Did I learn interesting things about the characters or the world?  Yes I did.  Did it change my perception of the series or create a whole lot of excitement about it for me?  Not usually, no.

I think there is only one instance where a prequel novella that I read before the first full book was released worked well in creating excitement for me about the upcoming series.  Other than that, I have to admit I often feel as though I’m missing pieces or as though I don’t know the characters well enough to truly decide how I feel about them because there isn’t much time in a novella to develop the characters as thoroughly as in a full length book.

When do prequel novellas work?  If I read them after reading the first full book, it tends to work better for me.  Well, as long as I enjoyed the characters and the world in the first book 😉  That way, I already have a connection and reading a novella about the characters becomes more like watching a home movie as opposed to an introduction.

What about you?  Prequel novellas – yay or nay?  And better to read before book one is release or after?

  1. I don’t usually read them, unless it’s from a series I’m crazy about. Generally it doesn’t give much in terms of plot and character insight, and I end up feeling a bit cheated.
    I’m curious though Julie, what was that novella that worked well for you?

  2. Eh I don’t read many novellas because I feel that if something was really important it would have made it into the full length books. There have been a few novellas worth reading but most do not add anything of interest to the overall story arc.

  3. If I read them before the chance is that I do not want to read more..it has happened

  4. I find I like them. I try to read them before the series, altho they are oddly often published after a few books in the series have been out. It gives me a sense of the writer and the world and is a shorter, quicker, easier way to see if I would even be interested in the series.

  5. I definitely read them – and really all novellas. But I do find the prequel novellas that come out after the first, and sometimes even second, book is released a little strange.

    I really liked Cecy Robson’s prequel to the Wird girls. I found it a really helpful introduction to the characters and the “world”. I don’t mind that it was a basic intro and not a complete character description/package, it was still helpful to me.

  6. Desme – I have a few that were good after the first book or even second book came out (like the one for Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede series) but the one I am referring to in my Question is Cecy Robson’s Weird Girls novella. That one I read before book one came out and it did a very good job introducing the characters and the tone of the series and left me excited for the full-length books. 🙂

    Alexa – And you are usually right. I don’t tend to go out of my way to read them but some series I will read anything! 🙂

    blodeuedd – You are very right. It’s almost a risk sometimes lol

    Northwoman – Makes sense 🙂

    Lizzie – Totally agree with you about Cecy’s novella! 🙂

  7. I don’t read them. I honestly don’t like novellas. I hate paying for such a short story and avoid them most of the times. I do however enjoy novellas when the author wants to share a quick catch up on a beloved character/characters, such as a wedding or birth of a child.

  8. ah a good question. I confess I only read them when I love a series or if I’m really waiting for a series but otherwise it’s not really my thing…

  9. I also liked the prequel for Secret by Sierra Dean. But I agree, I often read them after I have started the series, and then they do add something nice.

  10. I have to say, I am not a fan. I’ve read my fair share of them, and they can be enlightening. But, for the most part, I’d rather meet the characters as they are introduced in actual novel. I LIKE not knowing everything about them in the beginning. I enjoy the mystery. Not to say the novella’s kill the mystery, but they can do so. They also tend to be a bit weaker in the prose department. Maybe they don’t go through as many edits. I’d rather have my first experience with a new series be the actual first book. I feel the same way about novellas in the middle of series.

    As a reader, I’d rather be “hyped” by getting some chapters from the upcoming book. Yum! Kim Harrison has been keeping me on the edge of my seat releasing 1 chapter ever week or two in preparation for her book release next week. Marissa Meyer always releases five chapters of her books a few months before they release, even her debut novel, Cinder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *