1. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine New Member

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    Word count for Publishing?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by miss sunhine, Apr 12, 2012.

    Some people say Word Count doesn't matter, but I read an Article where an Agent said anything between below 50,000 or above 100,000 was not worth considering (for a first time writer). But the word Count depended largely on the Genre of the book.

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    My books are always short because I get to the point I've never written anything above 60,000.
    But I'm planning on starting a Fantasy/Action/Romance Young Adult novel. I have never Published anything before, so how many words should I aim for?
  2. RowenaFW
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    RowenaFW New Member

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    Aim for 80k. Just for a project.

    I like to keep track of my word counts, but my current beast is 155k. I'm not sure how publishers will respond to this. It's a very intricate plotline and I'm not really convinced I can condense it very much. Certainly not by 55k.

    My novels always fall in to 3 categories: 30-45k, 80-90k, or 120-160k. I don't know why!
  3. Jowettc
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    Jowettc New Member

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    I don't know who says word count doesnt matter for a publisher - sure it does for a variety of reasons.

    As to what length to head for - check out some publishers websites submission guidelines and see what they are asking for in what contrext e.g. Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story and so on...

    BUT - the story should flow naturally, trying to add more is going to be tricky. Cutting down is easy(ier). Perhaps you shoud consider developing some plots further than you curretly do or cutting them to pieces..your choice.
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    Some agents/publishers explicitly state a word count range in their submission guidelines, so follow that if available. If not, 80-100k is a good standard to aim for, though YA novels tend to be on the shorter side (less than 80k).
  5. Corgz
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    Corgz New Member

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    I don't no about first timers but The Deathly Hallows was almsot 200,000 words!
  6. AmsterdamAssassin
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    AmsterdamAssassin New Member

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    Maybe you can turn the beast in two books?

    Most trade publishers will not be too interested in debuts over 100K, simply because paper books will become exponentially more expensive as the wordcount increases. There will be exceptions, of course, but if you aim to be published you might want to keep to convention. If, on the other hand, you want to self-publish, especially if you aim for e-books only, the sky is pretty much the limit.
  7. RowenaFW
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    RowenaFW New Member

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    Not an option. I don't like series and don't break my books up into episodes/mini climactic events, so several minor plotlines are interwoven, starting at different times during the novel and culminating in the ending run of the story. It also has a "murder mystery" element.
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    80-100k is the preferred range of most publishers for a first adult market novel by new and unknown writers...

    but, as noted above, YA can go lower and you should always go by what the guidelines of each publisher specify...
  9. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine New Member

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    Well I don't just write Fantasy or YA I write Crime, Horror, Thriller pretty much whatever idea comes to mind. I did check them out on loads of Websites and most didn't state a word count which was why I asked.
    So I was trying to find like a guide advising how long a first book should be for the different Genres but I couldn't find anything yet.
    But thanks for answering my Fantasy Question lol
  10. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    80-100k is still what you should aim for. This is usually how long a first book will be for most (if not all) genres.
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, that...

    there's no list of genres and preferred word counts that can be relied upon... stick to that preferred range and you can't go wrong, unless it doesn't gibe with a specific publisher's stated preference in their submission guidelines...
  12. J♥Star
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    J♥Star Member

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    The only problem with turning it into two books, is that from what i have heard, most agents/publishers don't a first timer with a series. Not sure how true this really is.
  13. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am not so sure that it is easy or proper to take a novel and turn it into two books by dividing it in half because the word count is too high such that it would inhibit finding an agent to represent/publisher to publish.

    A novel should have a storyline or story arc. How many novels has a reader come across, even a long novel, that would easily just be cut into two and still have a coherent storyline? Would it read as truncated, or rushed, incomplete, or out of balance?

    I'm sure it can work for some novels being written, especially if there is major revision. Even a novel in a series should have a coherent story arc that, when the end is reached, the reader is satisfied. Cut off in the middle cliff hangers, like TV programming doesn't tend to work as well. Sure, there can be plot lines that are not completely finished, but there should be an 'end,' when the final page of a novel is read. Trilogies are a bit different than novels in a series, but even they have some major 'ending'.
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    too true!... it's not as easy as it's made to sound...
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