Monday, October 7, 2013
Authors, Stop Worrying So Much About Book Length
I can't tell you how many times MindStir Media authors have asked me, "How long should my book be?" There are some "rules" proposed by traditional book publishers, editors and literary agents -- for instance, an adult novel should be between 70k - 100k words -- but those rules seem to change from one expert to another. Here's the danger: An author's obsession over book length can sometimes become a huge hindrance. I've seen confused authors give up altogether because they couldn't reach the 70k word mark for a "novel." Authors should never give book length so much control!
If the author's manuscript, fully told, comes out to 50k words or even 30k words, there's no reason for the author to think that the book is somehow inadequate. The author should call it a novella, short story, whatever -- but should never give up! If the story is great it'll probably sell regardless of book length. That's true whether the author is writing for adults or children. Quality should be the focus, not length. I define "quality writing" as writing that tells the complete story as succinctly as possible.
So, go and focus on quality writing, and stop worrying so much about book length.
(If you're looking to publish your book and keep full control, you might want to consider a non-traditional book publisher such as MindStir Media)