Four Reasons to Read a Novella

Earlier this month, I wrote a post on some problems that authors face in knowing how many free books to distribute to reviewers. That said, we also realize that sometimes it’s hard to take a risk on a new-to-you author without knowing if you’ll like their writing style.

One of the ways Bethany House has recently dealt with this is by releasing free ebook-only novellas, available to download for free on an ereader, iPad, or your computer. Before coming to work at BHP, I don’t think I’d ever read a novella, so it was an entirely new form to me. Here are a few reasons I’ve come to appreciate novellas as a reader, and why you might want to give them a try.


One: They’re basically like those little mini boxes of chocolates. You have a sampler of a variety of different styles so you know exactly what you like. Also, they are addictive in about the same way. (“These are short, I can read just one more….”) The added benefit: novellas are calorie-free!

Two: You feel so much better about your TBR pile when you add novellas to it and check them off. You can often finish these in one sitting, which rarely happens with full-length novels. (I can’t be the only one with an intimidatingly-long list of books I’d like to read! It’s nice to take a break from longer works with a novella.)

Three: There’s a lot of story in a little amount of space. For some people, this is a downside to novellas…they just end too quickly! To me, though, there’s an art to a good novella, and the brilliance of it is that the author has to make you care about the characters immediately, include conflict and obstacles in a much-shortened middle, and still make you sigh with happiness by the end. Also, if complicated love triangles or prolonged misunderstandings are tropes that bother you, you won’t find them in novellas, because there just isn’t time!

Four: All of our free novellas contain a sneak peak at the full-length novel, so you’ll know what to read next if it catches your attention. Also, sometimes the characters overlap, so you get the chance to read the continuing story of some fictional folks you’ve already gotten to know in the novella.

It’s completely fine to prefer full-length novels to their shorter-form cousins, but if you haven’t ever given novellas a try, I’d highly recommend it.

Some of you may have seen announcements about these free novellas on our website or social media when they first came out. In case you missed a few, though, here are the free ebook novellas we’ve released so far. (Click on the cover, then on one of the links to the left to choose where you’d like to download them, or search your favorite retailer for the title.) They all contain a sneak-peek at the author’s full-length novel as well. Give them a try…and enjoy!


When Charlotte Wilson asks God for a husband, she decides He must want her to pursue Mr. Hamilton Beckett. He’s the catch of the season and, therefore, the perfect man for her…or is he?

Love by the Letter

Dex is relieved when Rachel agrees to help him write a letter to a mail-order bride, but her lessons soon have him questioning the whole endeavor.…

 Appalachian Serenade

Delilah has always wanted to be a mother. When she is widowed young, she fears she never will be. Will Delilah have the faith to pursue a new dream—even if it means giving up the old?

Out of the Storm

Having grown up in a lighthouse, loneliness is all Isabelle has ever known—and all, she assumes, she ever will know. But when her father rescues a young man from the lake, her sheltered world is turned upside down.

Three Little Words

Ava Kingsley is ready for a change. But she didn’t expect to fall for small-town life . . . or the old friend who invited her there in the first place.

Lady of Esteem

When, quite by chance, Amelia Stalwood crosses paths with the aristocratic Hawthornes and their family friend, the reformed Marquis of Raebourne, her world is turned upside down.

For a novella to work well, the characters have to be likeable to the reader right away. What makes a character someone you want to cheer for?

10 thoughts on “Four Reasons to Read a Novella

  1. I love novellas for various reasons. I definitely use them to explore new authors, and sometimes I just want a quick read…especially if I’m waiting a couple hours in a doctor’s office. I don’t know about you, but there is only so much Sponge Bob I can take while waiting! LOL!!

  2. Reblogged this on Down In The Hollow and commented:
    I’m getting ready to review some novellas I’ve read this summer and this blog from Bethany House summed up exactly why I love a good novella. Check out some free novella ebooks being offered at the end of the blog for yourself. I can tell you personally that Gentleman of Her Dreams is a fun, romantic read, and I’ve downloaded the others to read too. Happy Reading!

  3. Pingback: Reasons to read an eBook novella -

  4. Reblogged this on bookworlder and commented:
    An interesting post by Bethany House on novellas as a way to try out a new author. I really enjoyed Love by the Letter (no surprise, since I am a big Melissa Jagears fan) and Out of the Storm. I can’t wait to give Appalachian Serenade a try and I grabbed the others for future reading as well.
    Downloading these from Amazon sent me down the rabbit-hole of looking for more novellas to use as possible entry points for other authors, even pre-ordering one by Patrick W. Carr.

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