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Poll: In Range? A Word Count Poll (391 member(s) have cast votes)

What's the word count of the book you are currently pitching?

  1. Right in the sweet spot (75-80k) (62 votes [15.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.86%

  2. Voted Upper end but not scary (80k-100k) (141 votes [36.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.06%

  3. Praying because I write historical fiction or fantasy I'll get away with it (101k - 125k) (55 votes [14.07%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.07%

  4. I like to push boundaries but I'lll be leaving the word count OUT of my query :) (125k-150k) (22 votes [5.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.63%

  5. I am ENTIRELY delusional (150k-200k) (6 votes [1.53%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.53%

  6. There are PHONE BOOKS smaller than my tome (over 200k) (5 votes [1.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.28%

  7. novella anyone? (less than 60k) (16 votes [4.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.09%

  8. I am a little short of words but the ones I have are irresistable (60k to 75k) (50 votes [12.79%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.79%

  9. I write YA/Juvenile/Childrens so there is nothing wrong with 50k or less (34 votes [8.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.70%

I think the books coming out today are --

  1. Voted Too short -- when I pay $20 bucks I want more than 200 bleeping pages (142 votes [36.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.32%

  2. Just right (229 votes [58.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.57%

  3. Too long -- this is the age of the 140 character Tweet, please folks! (20 votes [5.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.12%

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#41 RSMellette

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 07:47 PM

My choice isn't available on this poll. I have a 43K MG book - which is in the sweet spot for that age group. At least, that's what my agent asked for.

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#42 Litgal

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:21 AM

RS -- You YA writers need your own poll :) After all you live in your own world (and lucky you it is a world where things are still selling)
Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

#43 Derrick

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:11 AM

My choice isn't available on this poll. I have a 43K MG book - which is in the sweet spot for that age group. At least, that's what my agent asked for.


Same here. I just selected novella. I hope I didn't throw off the stats.

#44 Litgal

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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:02 PM

Attention all you YA sort who voted novella -- I have heeded your call for accuracy and added a new choice to the poll. All you have to do is change your votes. Sorry for leaving a whole genre out by accident :)
Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

#45 Derrick

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:22 PM

Attention all you YA sort who voted novella -- I have heeded your call for accuracy and added a new choice to the poll. All you have to do is change your votes. Sorry for leaving a whole genre out by accident :)



haha, there were only two of us who selected Novella. I fixed my vote.

Although, technically, I write MG not YA. There is a difference you know.

#46 Litgal

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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 30 September 2010 - 05:13 PM

haha, there were only two of us who selected Novella. I fixed my vote.

Although, technically, I write MG not YA. There is a difference you know.

Okay Mr. Difficult. Fixed it again. Happy?
Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

#47 RSMellette

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 08:02 PM

Actually, I just write, then other people tell me what genre age group it is. :) I'm told my current one is MG Science Fiction Fantasy.

And, yes, I'm happy to vote.

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"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#48 Derrick

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 02:21 PM

Okay Mr. Difficult. Fixed it again. Happy?


Now, all is right with the world...

#49 redwood

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:06 AM

Whoo Hoo! Jiggety Jigg!

I just read this on Janet Reid's Query Shark blog:

"120K is not a problem for an adult historical novel. Not at all."

Celebrating vociferously!
“There’s no such thing as tough. There’s trained, and there’s untrained. Now which one are you?”
The Year-god's Daughter, book one in The Child of the Erinyes Series, will be published in November, 2011

#50 Litgal

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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:30 AM

Whoo Hoo! Jiggety Jigg!

I just read this on Janet Reid's Query Shark blog:

"120K is not a problem for an adult historical novel. Not at all."

Celebrating vociferously!


You and me BOTH darling. You and me BOTH. Turing my wip over to my agent this week and it is not small.
Lit. (aka Sophie Perinot)

#51 RobbG

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 12:59 PM

I blame video games and the habit of instant gratification.


I found some of the posts on this thread too long to bother reading. :blush:

#52 RobbG

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 01:10 PM

My first novel first draft (the one I'm pitching but believe now it was my practice novel) was 105,000 words (commercial/women's fiction). I edited that down somewhat tighter, killed a couple unnecessary scenes and some back story, but then added a couple new scenes that were important to show rather than skip (closing the bedroom door, waking up the next morning sort of thing). So the revision came in at 116,000 words. Yup, it grew. That was too long. More edits, tightening, a couple more revisions later, it's down to 104,000. I round that down to the nearest 5,000 and say it's 100,000 in my query letter.

My current WIP I've targeted for 80-85,000 (also commercial/women's/literary - somewhere in that genre mix).

I'm one who edits constantly as I go on the first draft, so by the time I finish the first draft, it's very clean and fairly tight. But that means it takes me a lot longer to finish a first draft. I keep telling myself to just vomit the story onto the page since it's all in my head anyway, and get on to the editing - and I enjoy editing - but I just can't write that way. I know that works well for many, who can crank out a first draft in a month or two or three, then edit for 6 months to a year. I can write for a year, then edit it in a few weeks.

#53 mwsinclair

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 03:40 PM

I take forever to finish.

#54 redwood

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 05:06 PM

I take forever to finish.



Now that I know you're "Matt" and not "Mrs Sinclair," the entire meaning of your reply is transformed! :biggrin:
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#55 Derrick

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 07:55 PM

I found some of the posts on this thread too long to bother reading. :blush:



I'm glad I'm not the only one.

#56 S.K. Keogh

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 03:25 PM

The novel I am currently marketing was purposefully written to be "short" (89,000). I figure it'll cost a publisher less to print if they are willing to take on a first-timer. :laugh:

My current WIP, on the other hand, is 153,000.

Long sentences. Hmm, I often write them and I find that some of my favorite authors write them (Pat O'Brian, Bruce Catton).

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#57 layinda

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 04:15 PM

Just saw this online:
http://www.darcypatt...-thisy-mistake/
Nice overview of word count for various genres.

#58 normaj

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:44 PM

interesting.

#59 Litgal

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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

Posted 31 October 2010 - 08:29 AM

Poll Update: With a WHOPPING 50 votes cast an impressive 56% of you manage to keep your manuscripts 100k words or less! I bow to you all, with your impressive self-control as I, your poll creator, tend to run beyond that. As for current books, 52% of you have no complaint about their length. So at least here at AQConnect the decision of publishers on word count limits is not causing that much consternation. Vote on! vote on.
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#60 Robin Breyer

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 09:54 AM

As a writer of several genres that tend to run longer, I've hit my target each time. The novel I'm currently querying is Epic Fantasy which has one of the highest word counts I have found (with some exceptions by authors such as James Clavell and James Michener). All the big names, such as Tolkien, wrote books that fall in the delusional category or longer. Even first time authors (including one from 2010). Carol Berg, one of my favorites currently in print, got her start in 2001 with a 165k tome. First of a trilogy and the other two were even longer.

I'm glad that most genre's are under 100k because I have a story to rewrite and I'm not sure I could get it over 80k. That is next on my list.

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