It is no secret that readers seem to prefer series titles nowadays, falling in love w/franchise characters who they can't seem to get enough of. Some publishers are signing authors to more series deals, i.e. this link Karen Fox posts on recent deals - (http://www.karenafox.com/market_news.htm#Romance Deals - click romance deals) - and unlike years ago when an author's titles would be released annually, the trend now is to release every six months, sometimes sooner. And a lot of these titles are actually novellas, approximately 30k+ words, so authors are writing a 70k+ word books and cutting them in half - releasing half as part 1, the other half as part 2, and so on. Another trend is anthologies, authors coming together to write shorter stories together that add up to the 70k+ word count. It's almost as if most authors are making less money with the ebooks so we either write more titles to keep up, or write shorter titles for the same money.
Just further evidence of this ever changing world of publishing we live in. Gotta give the people what they want, but also be true to our characters, and to our livelihoods.