HomeWritersLiterary AgentsEditorsPublishersResourcesDiscussion
Forum Login | Join the discussion
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    NE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    174

    How many words is ENOUGH or TOO MUCH

    I'm told that a good length for a first novel is about 90,000 words. Less than this might be running too short, and more than this, particularly in the case of a first time author, might be risky for the publisher or difficult to sell when it comes to an agent.

    Any thoughts on this one?



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    268
    If a person doesn't know, then this is the place to ask. Anyone?

    Your title should read: How many words are enough or too much.

    Watch out for these things. You detract from your writing by making such mistakes.

    Trying to help. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    736
    Depends on the genre. But 90,000 words would be. So would 80,000.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    17
    I've heard between 80,000 and 110,000.

    I'm not an expert in the business, but still, if it were me, I'd go for quality of manuscript before being too picky about word count.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Frank Baron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,168
    As many, or few, as necessary, to tell the story well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    NE Pennsylvania
    Posts
    174
    I'm going to disagree on Rich and Frank with this one, at least a little. What both of you say makes complete sense. However and unfortunately, writing is a business. Publishers, as far as I can tell, rarely consider work that's too long by new authors, and many the same applies to authors that have been previously published. With the rising costs in the publishing industry, word count does make a difference, or at least I've been told this by two agents in the past.

    Anyway, good luck!! I do happen to agree with Frank and Rich as to what should count. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case in this business.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    3,866
    Publishers, as far as I can tell, rarely consider work that's too long by new authors, and many the same applies to authors that have been previously published
    This is true. Also, as someone who has read books that were 200-300k, I can tell you right now: they did NOT have to be that long. There is no novel on earth that couldn't be edited down. Every word is not sacred.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Central Virginia
    Posts
    736
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Clunan View Post
    I've heard between 80,000 and 110,000.

    I'm not an expert in the business, but still, if it were me, I'd go for quality of manuscript before being too picky about word count.
    If you were in the business and forced to think about the business, you probably would be more concerned about wordage--especially anything way too short or way too long. There are cost efficiencies attached to pages (actually signatures--groups of pages) in a print book. You do have to consider the profitability and marketability of the project to stay in business. You can't just publish the best manuscript of any sort you can find.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    487
    Four.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    268
    I enjoyed that, John Hawkwood.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts