I think it does, but let’s consider all the angles.
As a passionate reader myself, when it comes to books I’d rather read in installments. Let me explain myself. I take books with me everywhere, on my e-Reader and printed books as well, so big heavy books don’t often make it on my book shopping sprees. Granted, there are long stories that are epic works of art, yet, I bet most of the libraries of regular readers have only a few of them! Also, I find myself skipping from one genre to another one as after reading one genre for a length of time, I just need a break from it. This is easier for me to do with regular length books up to about 300 pages or so. Thus, as I check out new books to read I tend to pick that size of book over larger ones that also called my attention. I don’t know if there are many readers like me, but I tend to believe that I am not alone on this.
As an author and publisher, I can tell you I’d lean toward breaking long epic stories into multiple smaller books rather than publish just one big one 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 into a trilogy or a series, new authors can build their platform with each installment growing a larger 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, but on the same token our attention focuses less amount of time on one thing. This fact tells me as a marketer that the new audiences coming up want it short and sweet.
So, yes size does matter but it is my opinion that shorter is better! I guess that it is at least something to think about when deciding how to publish your story.