With the introduction of Amazon's Kindle Unlimited, there have been some instances of scammers uploading crap into the system to get a piece of the money pot. This crap is usually short because all the scammers are interested in is getting $$ for as little effort as possible.
This is wrong. All authors and readers should be appalled at this behavior and the scammers should be dealt with by Amazon. We can all agree on that.
But now I'm hearing statements like the following being bandied about:
"Short story writers shouldn't get as much share of the monthly pot as writers who have entire novels in KU."
"Writers of short stories and serials are just trying to scam readers."
The people spouting this nonsense seem to think that short fiction isn't as worthy as a novel because it is shorter. I've said it before and I'll say it again…the value of a book is not determined by how many words it contains. If you think it is, then go read a dictionary. It has plenty of words in it.
Every story has a purpose and its value is determined by how well it serves that purpose. A story's purpose is not to be as long as the author can possibly make it, as if that confers some magical "value".
If a story serves its purpose, it doesn't matter how long or short it is.
A short erotica story and an epic fantasy novel have very different purposes. The short erotica piece is meant to titillate and serve a need that the reader may want served quickly. An erotica reader doesn't want to plow through thousands of words of description before arriving at the good parts.
The epic fantasy reader, on the other hand, does want to read lengthy descriptions of the world in which the story takes place.
To compare the value of the erotic short story and the epic fantasy novel by number of words is ludicrous. Each story is the correct length to keep its particular readers happy.
…delivers a very different reader experience to this…
...and is a different length. But that is how it should be. A reader who buys the first book is looking for a particular experience, as is a reader of the second book. But it isn't the same experience.
Each book has a totally different job to perform and requires a different word count to do that job. Each book has an appropriate length for its genre.
A movie and a TV episode both entertain but the TV episode takes less time to tell its story. Does that make it of a lesser value? Do the people who attack short story writers only watch movies, and the longer the better? Do these people email TV show writers and tell them they should be only writing movie length material? Do they only eat big meals, even if they are full, because more is always better?
And while we're here, let's dispel another myth. Writing short stories is not easier than writing novels.
Because of a novel's greater length, the author can get away with sloppy writing in places because those parts get lost in the larger whole. In a short story, the writing should be tight from beginning to end.
A short story writer needs to constantly come up with new ideas. Writing a lot of shorts means coming up with a lot of ideas. Novel writers get more words out of each idea because they are writing in a longer form.
Writing short stories is an art. There is less latitude to make the same mistakes which can be overlooked in a novel. Knowing what to leave out as well what to put into a short story is a skill.
In no way am I saying short story writers are "better" than novel writers. I write both shorts and novels and each has its own challenges. What I AM saying is that short story denigrators who say writing short fiction is "easy" are talking BS. And to say short fiction writers should get paid less for entertaining readers is ludicrous.
If YOU don't like short fiction, fine, don't read it. But don't assume everyone else has the same tastes as you and don't try to penalize short story writers just because they don't write what you read. Their stories are just as valuable as anyone else's and they work just as hard.
If someone said, "I think crime writers in KU should get less of the royalty pot because I don't read crime fiction," you'd think they were bigoted and selfish and had delusions of grandeur wouldn't you?