58k word.. too short?

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Post by Guest »

Someone told me that my 58k word adult Urban Fantasy novel is too short for querying... Is this true?

Post by Steve »

Genre has a lot to do with book length. I wouldn't shoot a 60k UF at a trad publisher. But you could always publish it yourself. My own UF run from 80k to a little over 100k. Epic Fantasy books tend to run quite a bit longer than UF so you're in a good field to shoot short. Those fantasy novels are usually going to run over 100k and some as much as two or three times as long.

Post by Jen »

It is going to vary a little bit by publisher. It's not technically a novella, but it is a shorter novel, especially for the genre. However, this length isn't unheard-of in the fantasy world. As a publisher, I would care more about the quality of the work and not the word count. Have you run it by any alpha/beta readers or - most importantly - an editor?

Post by Peter »

Genre and genre expectations have a lot to do with it. Genre readers tend to want a "read," and with that goes some expectation about the general length. I don't know about Urban fantasy, but my understanding is that fantasy tends to run fairly long.

Post by Phil »

Hey Jep. I’ve worked in publishing, as an author, editor, marketer and publisher for over 30 years, and I can tell you there are no hard and fast rules, and if there are rules, there are always exceptions. I have limited experience with urban fantasy but as far as sci fi goes there are plenty of successful circa 50k (200 page) novels out there. My own publishing company is currently publishing a circa 36k debut sci fi novel. The story is the story. It is what it is. It ends where is ends. Impact is more important than duration. Good luck with your writing :arrow:

Post by Olcay »

If you think your work is a novel it must be. I imagine it would be easier to edit a long work to a shorter form. It may be difficult to make a work longer than it is without editorial support. Also, are the word count, page count, semi-arbitrary measures? I would be happy to have a finished work of any length. I would query away.

Post by Rodel »

The data taken from Amazon shows a market for shorter works. I would trust the hard numbers. They've shown a strong market for books in the 200-265 page zone.

But, as an author, you must decide through sober objective analysis if the story has enough story. Only you can know that. What do your beta-readers say? Do they feel it's too short? Get many opinions and decide. Ultimately, there must be a balance between you and the customer or else it will not sell.

Post by Craig »

Why do publishers still want novels on the longish side, when people can barely watch a TV show that's over 30min? It seems like they would want shorter novels. A lot of great books are on the shorter side. Stephen King's Carrie, for instance.

Post by Gary »

That is not true. What is true is that some Publishers do not want to look at a manuscript but sure. That does not mean all Publishers do not want to look at it. I have a suggestion for you story that is related to the first that runs about 20,000 words and form some kind of epilogue or sequel or coda and call it part of the same novel

Post by Andy »

Quite simply, as this will be backed up by traditional publishers...

if you send in a great manuscript, highly commercial and unputdownable, word count simply won't matter.

All publishers are flexible on the issue of word count.

Word counts are not carved in stone as many writers think that they are.

It all depends on how good and commercially viable your manuscript is.

Post by Steve »

Depends on the view of who you are querying> There was a time when most would of thought it too short because of the price harvest to production cost ratio. But e-pub has - to an extent - changed that. Do keep in mind if you haven't edited properly (used a pro ed) it will probably be 10% shorter when introduced to one.. But also keep in mind a story should not be one word longer than it needs to be told, or shorter than it needs to be understood.

Last bumped by Anonymous on Sun Sep 11, 2022 7:10 pm.
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