Why I Took The Keeping of Greg Wilson Down and Will Not Be Writing Mitch’s Win

This is the second time I’ve gotten an email about taking down The Keeping of Greg Wilson and discontinuing my plan to write novellas, esp. Mitch’s Win.  The reason I’ve decided to do this is because of the 1-star reviews I kept getting on The Keeping of Greg Wilson for being ‘too short’.  

I set The Keeping of Greg Wilson as a free read on Smashwords, so it was free on B&N, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, and Apple.  And yet, I kept getting feedback from people who didn’t like it because it was ‘too short’.  The book was free.  I don’t see why so many people complain about a free story, but they do.  On Amazon, I had to price it at $0.99.  I have no control over whether Amazon puts my book up for free or not, and the lowest they would let me go was $0.99.   But even if it had been free on Amazon, I’m sure people still wouldn’t have liked it because it was too short since people who did get it for free complained that it was too short.

Anyway, I’ve learned that my time is better spent working on full-length novels I can actually be paid for so when I get the 1 and 2-star reviews, at least I’m earning something from them.

Look, being an author comes with a lot of highs and lows.  I’m not complaining, so please don’t take this post the wrong way.  I’m just explaining why I took The Keeping of Greg Wilson down and will no longer write novellas or short stories.  I’ve found it doesn’t pay off in the end.  I need to spend my time on things that do pay off, and my full-length novels pay off.  They are more popular and satisfactory to me and others.  The full-length novels are a win-win.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to www.ruthannnordin.com or check out https://ruthannnordinauthorblog.wordpress.com.
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6 Responses to Why I Took The Keeping of Greg Wilson Down and Will Not Be Writing Mitch’s Win

  1. amen!!! you do wat u need 2!!!! click click click on every1 else

  2. irishmary24 says:

    I like your short stories because I like your writing style. I don’t, in general, like short stories, because the character’s personality cannot be developed enough to care about him/her in a short span. You may get just a little insight, i.e., the protagonist female is a tomboy, but is a straight female(just raised without a mother figure on a ranch environment.) So, how can we like her? The protagonist male doesn’t even like her. And we know nothing about him. I want to know immediately what they look like, and that is often left out in a short story. So, it is a voice speaking from darkness. I can build an idea in my own imagination, but from the spoken word of the nebulous character, I may not like him/ her. It is generally just a snippet or one scene of what should be a whole story. I don’t mind, if I know someone is just trying to develop personalities for characters, and that it will turn into the complete novel eventually. Usually, short stories make me glad they’re over soon, or leave me frustrated that it wasn’t finished to completion. Remember those 1940’s style short stories that we had to read in literature class in high school ( maybe you don’t, I’m much older than you.) I hated them and in my critiques, I said I hated them. I always received “a’s” on my critiques, perhaps because the teacher agreed secretly. I want to care about the characters. There has to be some redemption, even if the outcome Must be depressing. Having said that, I’ve never left a negative feedback to anyone’s story, ever. If I like it, I leave positive, but I leave it alone if I didn’t. I may not have been on the same page as the writer. Who am I to read something else into it? There is a writer that has a complete homepage with 100’s of short stories on it. She doesn’t spell well, her grammar is terrible, and if she can possibly use a wrong word for the wrong application, she does, everytime! But, I’ve read every one of her short stories! I know where she was going with the idea. And she has some very good ideas for stories that should be developed to novels.. I wish one of her friends would take her in hand and clean up the above problems. That job isn’t mine! So, I know YOU, Ruth, were meant for novels! Do them however you need to, and tell me when I can purchase them on Kindle, and I’ll be a happy camper!!!

    • Writing short stories and novellas is a gift, and it’s not a gift I have. My gift is for full-length stories. It seems every time I start something, it wants to be longer. The Keeping of Greg Wilson was written for Harlequin Mini which had a cap of 15,000 words, and while I thought it was cute, I don’t put it up there with one of my better works. Return of the Aliens wasn’t supposed to be anything behond the first 15,000 word novella called The Vanishing, but before I knew it, I realized I had to see the whole story through, and 103,000 words later, I finally feel the story is complete. Most of my novels hover in the 70,000 to 75,000 word range, and I think that is where I’m most comfortable. For me, it’s impossible to get any real depth in something under 20,000 words. The only reason I think A Chance In Time works at 20,000 is because it’s part of Meant To Be and the Native American series. Otherwise, it wouldn’t fit. I do enjoy piecing stories together so that characters from one can be in another. I’m looking forward to showing what happens with the children Cole and Penelope adopted in A Chance In Time.

      I don’t give negative feedback on stories either. I’d rather spend my time building people up than tearing them down. If someone asks for my opinion, I will give it as nicely as possible, but I’ll make sure to point out the positives, too, because usually, there’s some good things in every written work.

      Wow. 100 short stories. I know those are short, but somehow the number 100 seems so big to me. My goal was to write 20 books, and now that I have, my next goal is 50. I’m going to hit 24 once I publish Life Mate at the end of June. So I’m not too far off, but this includes the fantasy books, too.

      Your comment on the author of short stories only reinforces my belief that it’s the story that pulls people in, and even if the grammar and editing aren’t up to par, people will still want to read the story because of how compelling it is. 🙂

  3. I prefer novels, too. My short stories almost always come out feeling like a part of a novel – like they’re the first chapter and you’re waiting for the second. I have done a handful of longer short stories (10,000 plus words) successfully (I think ) and a tiny handful of shorter ones, but it’s something I’ve had to work at over the years because I’m a long writer by nature.

    and look at it this way, if their only complain is it’s too short, then they must like what else they read 😉

    • Your short stories work because they fit into your series. That might be an angle to pursue if I ever do short stories. Just take a snippet of the person’s life that was a turning point for them. Sadly, I see a lot of reviews where the complaint was “it was too short”. It’s like, what do you expect for free or $0.99? Some people do manage shorts very well. I am not one of them. LOL

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