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Book Length and What Makes LitRPG

Keywords: Word count, and the definition of LitRPG. 
I’ve been reading with interest the debates in the various groups out there with regard as to how long a book should be and what defines LitRPG. 
There are a number of authors out there, me included, that aren’t penning mighty tomes. I keep mine short because I want to get the books coming out, and build the world through a series of releases. It means that I can keep things fresh, will always have a finished project and will be looking forward to the next one. That’s how I work. It’s also how a lot of people read on KU and Kindle. They’re looking for fast-paced books that rattle off the shelves. 
As readers burn through the existing series of books, they’re going to enter what will essentially be a wasteland. Authors who are trying to write the 400-page books, simply won’t be able to churn them out as quickly as the readers need them to. Granted, there will be other authors writing, but from a series standpoint, the gaps between new books will get longer out of necessity. 
That’s when I think that things will change and, out of necessity, readers will get used to short books coming out more often. Rather like DLC 😉
Then we have the definition of LitRPG. Everyone here knows that Ready Player One is coming out as a film. How they’re going to manage stats and such in the film, I don’t know, but what I do know is that fans of the film are going to look to buy books similar to Ready Player One. 
They WON’T be LitRPG fans, and the vast majority of them probably won’t even be ‘gamers’. And that’s when books that are light on stats, but heavy on Character (not game character) development, fast-paced story telling and probably not even a character sheet in sight, are going to come to the fore. 
We have interesting times ahead of us, and I think it’s important that we, as authors, start to think ahead of the game whilst we have the chance. The market is going to broaden massively, there will be a whole slew of new authors eager to lay a claim to the genre and it would be a shame to see people fall by the wayside because they refused to change. 

About mattsylvester

Father of two beautiful daughters and married to the beautiful Karen, Matthew has been reading and writing fantasy and science fiction since he first read the Hobbit at the age of 7.


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