I think it does, but let’s look at it from both sides of the coin.
1) As a passionate reader myself, when it comes to books I would rather read in installments. Let me explain myself. I take books with me everywhere, not just e-books but printed books as well, so big heavy books often don’t make it on my book shopping sprees. Granted, there are long stories that are epic works of art, yet, I bet most regular readers’ libraries have only a few of them when these stories are produced on one humongous book! Also, I find myself many times skipping from one genre to another, as after reading one genre for a length of time, I find I need a break and crave a different topic to read. This is easier for me to do with regular length books of up to about 300 pages or so; and thus, as I check books out, I tend to pick smaller to average sized books in lieu of larger ones that also call my attention. I don’t know if there are many readers like me, but being an avid reader myself (in English, Italian and Spanish) I tend to believe that I am not alone in this.
2) As an Author and Publisher I can tell you this: I would rather break a long epic story into multiple smaller books than publish a single large book for the following reasons:
- Bigger books are more expensive to produce and more difficult to sell unless you are a celebrity author.
- By breaking the story in trilogies or creating a series, new authors can build up on their platform with each installment, growing a bigger and long lasting fan base. This guarantees an advantage to any new story the author produces afterwards.
- The electronic age has transformed the attention span of Human Beings. We now absorb information quicker and our attention focuses for smaller amounts of time on one thing. This fact tells me, as a marketer, that the new and upcoming audiences want it ‘short and sweet’.
So in my opinion, when speaking about books, their size does matter for readers as well as for authors and publishers, and shorter is better! I guess that the size issue is at least something all authors should think about when deciding how to publish their story.