You know the ones - the "between the books" novellas, the ones that give us an additional short burst of excitement between publication dates. Part of the story told from a different perspective, or an extra little mission, or a character's back story fleshed out in detail.
I HATE THEM.
Yes, they give readers something to look forward to. But whenever I've read them, I find them enormously unsatisfying. Oh, you want to know why? Sure. It's usually one of the following reasons:
1. They're short.
They tend to be only about 50 pages long. As a result, they only take me about fifteen or twenty minutes to read. You're just starting to get into the story, and it's all over. Womp womp.
2. They're expensive.
3. They're only available in e-book form.
This is fine for me - I have a Kindle. A lot of people don't have an e-reader or an Amazon account. They rely on libraries or loans from friends for their reading material. But librarians aren't going to spend their hard earned budgets on such short stories, particularly if they're not available through the e-book client that the library uses. Publishing between-the-numbers books automatically cuts off a section of the readership from the stories that authors are telling.
4. They don't add a damned thing.
We already know how a particularly scene went down. We don't need to read that Love Interest thought Main Character was really pretty the first time he saw her, because Love Interest already told her that in the original book. We don't need the same dialogue rehashed again but with an "I felt nervous" instead of a "He looked nervous". It doesn't actually add anything at all to the story.
5. They contain material that should be in the main books.
If a 0.5 book provides world building, that should be in the main books. If it tells us how a character's life changed forever, that should be in the main books. If it contains back story that can completely change the way the reader views a character and their actions throughout the series to date? THAT IS MATERIAL THAT SHOULD BE IN THE MAIN BOOKS. Because when you then change the relationship between two characters in a subsequent book because the reader is now meant to be sympathetic towards a particular character based on the content of a 0.5 book? It's WTF-worthy to readers who haven't had access to that story.
There are a multitude of other ways to engage with readers in the period between book publication dates. And I really wish authors would embrace them...
What do you think? Do you like 0.5 novellas? Do you like when they include information and back story that we don't get in the main series? HELP ME UNDERSTAND THEIR APPEAL!!