Will Novels Ever Become Obsolete?

I don’t think so.

Let’s look at some actual statistics first.

According to the American Booksellers Association, in “April 2017 bookstore sales are estimated at $714 million”

There is still a significant retail market in terms of actual bookstores. While this market is not to the level of other retail markets, it is still a force that should be looked at as legitimate. People are still buying physical books.

To me, the novel will not become obsolete, but has and will continue to change.


Novels in the US could follow a pattern that has a deeper history in other countries of writing shorter novels. This does not mean that long novels will go away. Each story has its own appropriate length. With the further saturation of content, both video and print, audiences may lean even further towards shorter, but better novels.

While I don’t think that this should have any impact on writers, there is a lot of content and readers may not want to have to devote a huge amount of their time to a 500 to 1000-word book that could be just as good at 350 pages. I believe in being concise and I predict that audiences may continue to lean in this direction. However, this should have no influence on writers, because every story has its own length.

Anthologies and Creating a Series

People like collections and a large story arc. I see that there could be an even further rise of authors releasing collections of writings that are not necessarily intertwined and creating a large story that fits best into 3, 4, 5 or even more great, but shorter books. These trends are not really new, but have the potential to become a standard in both traditional and self-publishing.


The novel is here to stay. There will always be people to write long form stories and the readers seem to be not going anywhere. Novels have and will change.

· There is the chance of a further rise in shorter novels.

· Collections of writings by one author being made into a book could be more common.

· Authors creating a series of short novels to tell a large story or build worlds could become more common.

None of this should influence writing, These are just possible trends that I think could be the future of the novel. Writers should focus on the content of their books first and foremost.