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I’ve been working away at my second project since February 2010 but I am at complete lost to how many words a standard book should be.  I am only talking a regular pocket book size. 

Could somebody help me out? 

 

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No one wants Courier. It is used solely as a fixed-space font for use in getting the number of words per line.


Also, I should have mentioned the names of some useful books. Just got to find them. About to get cataract surgery...

 

Ed


Anna L. Walls said:

Thanks for explaining that.  I didn't think about the short dialogue sentences.  I was picturing really long words - I don't know why - facepalm moment I guess - forgive me.

I've never run across anyone demanding Courier, but then I haven't submitted to TOR, though I would love to - maybe someday, but I do know agents and publishers can be very picky about the format they want.

Cataract surgery - Eewww  Hope it works out.  Get better soon.

Edward D. Isenberg said:

No one wants Courier. It is used solely as a fixed-space font for use in getting the number of words per line.


Also, I should have mentioned the names of some useful books. Just got to find them. About to get cataract surgery...

 

Ed


Anna L. Walls said:

Thanks for explaining that.  I didn't think about the short dialogue sentences.  I was picturing really long words - I don't know why - facepalm moment I guess - forgive me.

I've never run across anyone demanding Courier, but then I haven't submitted to TOR, though I would love to - maybe someday, but I do know agents and publishers can be very picky about the format they want.

I've always been one to believe that when your story comes to it's conclusion it's over. Trying to drag out a fictional story just to make it a certain page count, you then run the risk of spoiling the story or losing your readers interest. I feel especially concerning fictional stories you'll know when the end is approaching it just all seems to come together like a zig saw puzzle. I my self have found the more stories you write the longer some of them seem to be at times. At other times depending on the particular story line, it may end up shorter. I feel the most important ingredient is to keep the readers attention, and interest. A bored reader will become a book closer. Now with stories such as Stephen King's "The Stand," that was a long story indeed, but it was one that simply had more puzzle pieces with the story or characters so it needed to be that length. Some do not. And I know this is my opinion, and as they say, opinions are like -----holes everyone has one. LOL . You also have the option of placing two or three of your shorter fictional stories lets say of the horror category into one volume. Making 75,000 to 80,000 word book. Garry E. Lewis
I feel the same way.  But when your story threatens to be over 1000 pages, getting it published can be nearly impossible.

Garry Edward Lewis said:
I've always been one to believe that when your story comes to it's conclusion it's over. Trying to drag out a fictional story just to make it a certain page count, you then run the risk of spoiling the story or losing your readers interest. I feel especially concerning fictional stories you'll know when the end is approaching it just all seems to come together like a zig saw puzzle. I my self have found the more stories you write the longer some of them seem to be at times. At other times depending on the particular story line, it may end up shorter. I feel the most important ingredient is to keep the readers attention, and interest. A bored reader will become a book closer. Now with stories such as Stephen King's "The Stand," that was a long story indeed, but it was one that simply had more puzzle pieces with the story or characters so it needed to be that length. Some do not. And I know this is my opinion, and as they say, opinions are like -----holes everyone has one. LOL . You also have the option of placing two or three of your shorter fictional stories lets say of the horror category into one volume. Making 75,000 to 80,000 word book. Garry E. Lewis

Like Anna, I also agree, in principle. I believe part of the process I described was writing your novel to be whatever length it needs to be as long as it hits a wide range.

 

The lower end of the range is when a novel is under about 60,000 words and not only looks thin, but there just isn't room to add the plot complexity, descriptive elements, and characterizations that readers of novels expect and that good fiction writing demands. (Note the 60k figure was defined for Sci Fi, but I've never seen any other number quoted).

 

The upper limit is either the longest novel publishers will print and bookstores stock due to physical, financial or marketing reasons, or it is the longest novel the same people will accept from a new author whose track record on sales is unknown. That's why King's The Stand could be made very thick (he has a great track record for selling anything including very long and thus more expensive books). However, even King (or for that matter Tolkein) can't sell a novel in one book that is so long that the binding won't last, the reader's hands will tire, it won't fit into a briefcase or bag for office/beach-side reading, or is psychologically off-putting for those who are not sure they want to make such a commitment to one book story. Imagine Niven issuing all Known Space books and short stories in one volume, Asimov doing the same with his entire Robots/Galactic Empire/Extended Foundation series (even though these all fit into one coherent universe), or Heinlein doing the same with his Future History series...

 

Regarding the upper limit, this can sometimes be solved by breaking the novel into parts (again, note Tolkein). However, I dislike and generally won't read novels that are broken down into multiple non-standalone parts without it being clear on the cover that this is in fact only part 1 etc. When I buy a book I expect to get a complete story, and if it isn't clear that the story is incomplete unless multiple books are bought, I feel suckered, forced to pay perhaps $30 for 3 paperbacks to give me one story when I was expecting to pay $10 for one paperback giving me the entire story. I will never support authors like David Gerrold, who often writes excellent books but screwed the readers of his Chtorr series. None of the books said: "this is only part x of a series that must be read in order and in their entirety." Worse, he originally planned on a trilogy, but now plans on a 7-part series, of which he has only finished 4 parts. Those first four took 10 years ending in 1993. Due to the long intermissions, I found I had to reread all the previous books whenever a new one came out. After over 17 years without book 5 and having missed many deadlines, I feel totally screwed by him. Gerrold is 67, and it is very questionable that he will live long enough to finish the series, thus leaving most issues unresolved. He is insulting his readers IMO, and perhaps that is reflected on how few if any of his works are actually in stock in bookstores.

 

My first novel, almost done, is part of a planned trilogy or four-book-series with the possibility of additional side novels & short stories, TV episodes, fan fiction, etc. However, I am committed to making each book not only standalone, but readable in whatever order is convenient for the reader.

 

--- Ed Isenberg

       upcoming novel: "Federation of Peoples: The Guardians"

 

Garry Edward Lewis said:

I've always been one to believe that when your story comes to it's conclusion it's over. Trying to drag out a fictional story just to make it a certain page count, you then run the risk of spoiling the story or losing your readers interest. I feel especially concerning fictional stories you'll know when the end is approaching it just all seems to come together like a zig saw puzzle. I my self have found the more stories you write the longer some of them seem to be at times. At other times depending on the particular story line, it may end up shorter. I feel the most important ingredient is to keep the readers attention, and interest. A bored reader will become a book closer. Now with stories such as Stephen King's "The Stand," that was a long story indeed, but it was one that simply had more puzzle pieces with the story or characters so it needed to be that length. Some do not. And I know this is my opinion, and as they say, opinions are like -----holes everyone has one. LOL . You also have the option of placing two or three of your shorter fictional stories lets say of the horror category into one volume. Making 75,000 to 80,000 word book. Garry E. Lewis
The book I currently have with an editor and also a publisher has promised to take when the editor is finished, was a single story, over 1000 page book.  Fortunately, it fell into three parts so now it will be a trilogy.  All I have to do, not counting the edits from my editor, is figure out how to work the breaks better since it will be more than turning the page to keep reading.  I'm thinking they will come out at least a few months apart, hopefully less than a year.  I will buy all of a series (if I know it's a series), or none of it if I can't find all of it.

Is this your first book? If not, how successful would you (or more importantly, your publisher) consider your previous books to be? I am curious about how you managed to sell (or at least get them to look at) such a long MS. Also, what genre is the novel?

 

Ed


Anna L. Walls said:

The book I currently have with an editor and also a publisher has promised to take when the editor is finished, was a single story, over 1000 page book.  Fortunately, it fell into three parts so now it will be a trilogy.  All I have to do, not counting the edits from my editor, is figure out how to work the breaks better since it will be more than turning the page to keep reading.  I'm thinking they will come out at least a few months apart, hopefully less than a year.  I will buy all of a series (if I know it's a series), or none of it if I can't find all of it.

I write fiction, and this one is along the line of Sword and Sorcery.  Lots of magic and though there are knights they are not your run of the mill kind.  This trilogy/book is my second to be published; I self published my first book through AuthorHouse, something I won't be able to afford ever again, not that I would anyway.  AuthorHouse is fine if you know what to expect and know what you are doing, but I wouldn't recommend them to a beginner.  I don't consider that book very successful, though I have a nice-line up of great reviews, and another one soon to surface.  I'm not sure why it never took off.  Probably because I'm rather handicapped when it comes to advertising.  AuthorHouse did next to none despite the fact that I bought their top marketing package.  My $1200 only bought 3000 emails and nothing more.  I've had more sales from Twitter and Facebook.

My publisher is a small company and I simply asked if he'd be interested in a trilogy.  I didn't hide anything from him.  I told him it was a single book with 3 parts - the whole spiel.   He asked for a sample and then was pleased enough to ask for the first part.  After I got a confirmed yessiree, off to the editor it went.  I am thrilled.  He never mentioned my previous book.  I don't even know if he looked it up.

I have learned through Southwest Authors that self-marketing is absolutely required. There is a $3,000 course on it but I'll never be able to afford that; hopefully the same person that runs the course will have a book I can buy instead. They say that if you follow there ideas you will, one week only, be in Amazon's or Barnes & Noble top 10 novels. Coordinating all your efforts to occur on the same week is the key.

 

One big thing I plan to do is use my current RV or even better the one we want to buy in the next year or so, and travel all around the country doing signings and going to local & area-wide SF Conventions. Doing it in an RV is the only economical way to accomplish it, and my wife loves RV'ing as much as I do.

 

Ed

I envy you Edward.  Traveling around to book signings isn't an option for me.  Getting to just one is 99% impossible - grrr.

For the $3,000 course on marketing - my guess is that you'd have to invest another $???? (notice the number of ?s) in advertising and other such things.  And there'd still be no guarantee you'd get your money back.  The best thing you could do is be seen and RVing sounds like just the ticket.  I wish I could hitch a ride in your trunk.

Here's my notes on the meeting where the $3k course was discussed. It didn't sound like a scam. You can go to the website and check it out for yourself.








Website


shopping cart


Blog


Video Trailer



2 minutes



Cost < $1,000



B-Roll with line drawings merging in and out




I must be in it








Getting on Amazon or B&N Top Ten for one week


Peggy McCall


Get on Mailing Lists


have short-term “free gift” for anyone who signs up to my website during this week


McColl course becoming bestseller 38 days Amazon Barnes & Noble



http://www.yourownbestseller.com/








Steve Harrison’s Million Dollar Author Club


$9.00


http://www.milliondollarauthorclub.com/








Screen-writing


get formatting from Celtx Formatting S/W



sent a bug report 12/5/2010



http://forums.celtx.com/viewforum.php?f=4


Reduce 100,000-word novel to 18,500 word screenplay



Typically 100 pages








Discuss Audio Book (who does, who pays & who gets $$$?)








Get mentioned or reviewed on these websites:


The Millions



http://www.themillions.com/books-reviews


Galley Cat



http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/category/galleycat-reviews


Book Review



http://www.bookreview.com/$spindb.query.bottom.booknew



also check Google for Book Review for other sites


Media Bistro



http://www.mediabistro.com/



mostly inside news of the publishing industry
I didn't mean to sound like I thought it was a scam.  It's just that advertising is already expensive.  To pay someone to tell you how to do it is like double dipping.  Fine if you have the money, but if you have the money, you don't need all the lessons on advertising (maybe).  That's just the way I see it.  It may well be dollars well spent, but I just don't have that kind of money to find out.

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