Yes, my Carina Press manuscript, The Price of Freedom, is a novella. So I have a vested interest in this discussion. It doesn't invalidate my argument.
Novellas are going to boom.
I'm a long time fan of Harlequin Mills and Boon category romances. I think 50-55,000 words, an hour's reading, an exciting emotional ride and a satisfying happy ever after are a brilliant way to improve my day. But that's a solid hour to hour and a half of reading without distractions. What if we halve that word count? Now we have the perfect lunch time read or commuter there-and-back story, like the mini novels that are huge in Japan.
When it's well written a novella can deliver the punch of a longer story. It focuses tightly on its key characters and their emotional drama. It also respects the competing demands on its readers' time.
The novella is the perfect length to read when you're busy. You know how guilty you can feel stealing reading time for an epic novel when work and family life is crazy. But a novella gives you a mini escape. It uses stealable time.
Also, as novellas become increasingly popular their shorter commitment of time will allow writers and readers to be more adventurous. What you mightn't commit to reading in a full length novel, you will taste test in a novella.
So, that's Tuesday's argument. Novellas are coming.