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  1. #11
    Bill King
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    Wouldn't 51,000 words be more then 75 pages. That's 680 words per page. Without knowing I have always thought around 300 wpg was more typical(I don't have a book with me). It also seems that publishers change spacing and font size which would change the words/page ratio.

    Long ago I read something that said first timers should stay around 60,000 words because its cheaper to edit, print, ship, etc. On this forum I've read many times from those in the know that 100,000 was the proper target.

    I'm just starting to send queries for my second (60,000 words) and am working on the next one. I was going to shoot for 80,000 to 90,000 words.

    What does everyone else think.

    Bill King



  2. #12
    RBSA
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    I hate numbers, but I always thought of 75K as the bottom threshhold of the "average" novel. I know that some are longer, some are shorter, but going much shorter than this will make many people in the industry pause . . .

    RBSA

  3. #13
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    Agree that shooting for 80,000 to 90,000 words for a first novel would put you in the most advantageous range.

  4. #14
    Rachel
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    One final follow-up, just a few moments ago yet another agent asked to read the entire ms. As long as they're asking, I'll keep sending, I guess.

  5. #15
    tirch
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    I have a novella that is 46,000 words. at 12 pt arial it comes to 110 pages.

  6. #16
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    A publisher published your novella in 12-point Arial? Arial is usually used for presentation type only--or when there's lots of illustration and practically no words. Your book isn't very hard to read?

  7. #17
    tirch
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    ah, sorry. new to this. The novella isn't published. TNR is the preferred font isn't it. The story may be shorter in a different font.

  8. #18
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    Tirch: There are various fonts used for bodytext in books. TimesNewRoman is one of these, but not one of the favorites for fiction. Giramond is most often the font of choice--or Castelon(?sp). But if your novella is still in manuscript form, you'd best put it into TimesNewRoman or Courier, as these are preferred for this stage of the game--certainly not Arial.

    That said, I converted something to Arial and it doesn't look too bad as bodytext--a little strain on the eyes when reading multiple pages. Also, your 110-page count for 46,000 words in published Arial seemed ball park (if the book was 6 X 9). The upshot is that the estimate of 75 pages for 51,000 does indeed seem off. But that doesn't change the basic point that publishers don't normally jump at the chance to produce an adult novel of 51,000 words--just because of production costs driving up the retail price point.

    Bottom line point though, is that the page/word counts being discussed on this string should be referring to published books, not manuscripts, as that's the vein in which the discussion started.

  9. #19
    tirch
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    I see. I've been supporting myself doing web development for a while and jsut recently been laid off. In that time I've been putting together my "serious" writing. The Arial, Sans Serif fetish comes from web dev. Those are the font's of choice for most of the sites I worked on.

    Glad I came here. Between this and writer's market I may figure out the business end of finding an agent.

    In short, thanks for your advice.

  10. #20
    Ken
    Guest

    Re: Selling a 51,000 word novel

    I think this has a lot more to do with the length of paragraphs than the word count. A good genre book like something by Elmore Leonard runs around 250-350 pages, but he writes mostly in short dialogue. The same thing could be said of a lot hard-boiled fiction. Most of it is fairly short, as far as word-count goes.

    As for literary fiction, "The Great Gatsby" is (so I've heard) 50,000 words. It's a fine length for a good novel.

    The general rule is that a page of 12 pt. courier equals 250 words. So depending on how you break up paragraphs, a 300-page book could be 50,000 to 80,000 words.

    Basically, a word count from a computer doesn't always translate that way to the page.

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