A Quick Question For All You Author-y Types!

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Well hello, there all of you!

I was just wondering, for any of you that are published authors… or nearly there… when you have published a book/novel/novella, what has your total word count been at?

And if you have published a compilation of short stories… how many stories in your book, and what length were they?

And what about poems….? What is a good length or amount of poems in an anthology?

A whole bunch of questions, sorry!

65 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. reocochran
    Mar 16, 2016 @ 04:05:30

    This was such a great post and glad I looked back at this. Wonderful, Ritu, questions and helpful comments, too. Smiles, Robin

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. lbeth1950
    Feb 21, 2016 @ 03:06:19

    I am currently looking for an agent for 86,000 word book.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Marquessa
    Feb 21, 2016 @ 02:04:36

    Such great responses! I’m taking notes!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Carol Balawyder
    Feb 21, 2016 @ 01:04:03

    Hi-
    My novellas run anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 word count while my novels are in the 75,000-85,000 range.
    Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  5. Nancy Pennick
    Feb 20, 2016 @ 19:18:47

    My publisher puts out a call for short stories 10,000 to 20,000 in length.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. trentpmcd
    Feb 20, 2016 @ 15:21:52

    I’ve written but not published two books at about 80,000 words each. I am going to put out a self-published book of short stories that will be between 40,000 and 60,000 words (still picking stories and they are all first drafts, so size may change). I actually asked a similar question about short story collections about 2 weeks ago. Poems? Most books I’ve seen have been pretty short.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. D.T. Nova
    Feb 20, 2016 @ 07:16:15

    I’m still revising my first novel, but it’s currently around 115k.
    That’s down from a first draft that was over 160k.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. Let's CUT the Crap!
    Feb 20, 2016 @ 03:46:23

    I am currently editing a short story collection: word count under 55,000 words before complete editing. Not sure where this will end up, but I plan to be diligent.
    Great questions. I wish I had thought of asking some similar. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. New Journey
    Feb 20, 2016 @ 00:29:58

    I can tell you my daughter is getting ready to publish her first novel and she learned that they want your first book to be no more than 100,000 words….so she is revising…that’s all I know…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Feb 20, 2016 @ 00:31:20

      Thank you! I have a way to go but is good to get opinions from the experts, and those with personal experience.☺ good luck to your daughter too!

      Like

      Reply

  10. Kim
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 19:36:12

    After being around this web for 5 years or so there are differences of opinions. In the beginning I checked out authors or works I liked to see their word count.
    My novel is 174K and has three works inside. Definitely not selling, marketing has not helped. My novella has 30K from NaNoWriMo and my poetry book has around 30+ poems. I am now writing a novel (fourth one) and it will be near 57K (my age when I started). I planned it that way. It’s historical fiction. I should try short stories but I’m short on hours in a day. Maybe someday. Probably will.

    *I checked out Color Purple (50K) and of course, Rowling’s books which later had 180K or so. Also, my fave Gone With The Wind has like 150K plus. I used this just as a guideline not to simulate them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Andrew Joyce
      Feb 19, 2016 @ 20:02:25

      If you are going to self-publish, then the word count can be anything that you want it to be. If you hope to get a legit agent, they won’t even talk to you if your word count is not 80,000 words. (For a first-time author.) The publishing business has changed since Margaret’s day. Even since J.K. first published. I don’t think it’s right, but that’s the way it is. By the way, I recommend going the self-publishing route. The reason being is that you’ll be expected to do all the marketing yourself even if you are with a major publisher, so why cut them in? Between your agent’s cut and theirs, there’s not much left for you. And if you get a royalty check twice a year, you’ll be lucky. With Amazon, that money is deposited into your account on the 29th of the month . . . every month . . . come rain or shine!

      Liked by 3 people

      Reply

    • Ritu
      Feb 19, 2016 @ 20:34:24

      Thanks Kim! It’s hard to limit or stretch you self but if there is a guideline it sure helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  11. Sue Coletta
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 19:16:54

    For the crime genre (mysteries, thrillers, etc.) industry standard is 82K-100K, but it’s best to keep it in the lower range for debuts.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. syl65
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 18:30:38

    My poetry books range between 70 – 100 poems. I prefer to stick with about 70, myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. D. Wallace Peach
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 18:09:20

    Hi Ritu, my fantasy novels range from 85,000 to 130,000 words. I did one short story collection with my authors’ group – it was 7 short stories ranging from 2,500 words to 10,000 words (a wide range). Hope that’s helpful. Good luck with your writing projects πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  14. jacquelineobyikocha
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 18:01:27

    I am putting my first poetry book together and from what I am made to understand, from 50 poems upwards can be classified as a book and anything less is a chapbook. I hope to get it through by March/April and then compile the short stories as well. Good luck in your research.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  15. TanGental
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 18:01:09

    both mine in the 85 to 90k range.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Lucinda E Clarke
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:52:37

    n idea about poetry, but my novels / biographies range from 92K to 128K in length.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. Nicole DelaCroix (@NicoleDelaCroix)
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:47:22

    First novel was YA fiction @ 70000, second novel was nonfiction @ 58000, third novel still in progress, also nonfiction @ 75000

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. Andrew Joyce
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:39:11

    My first novel was 164,000 words. No agent would touch it because it was too long for a first-time author. So I wrote an 80,000 word novel and within a few months, I was represented by one of the biggest agencies in the country. My next novel was 100,000 words. And I am closing in on finishing my fourth which will be 90,000. For those three novels, I sat down and knew beforehand how many words I wanted for each. I got lucky and that’s they way they turned outβ€”without having to resort to cutting words or adding words. I also have about 150 short stories that range in length from 79 words to 15,000 words. One of these days, I’ll publish them, but it will have to be in two volumes. Always think β€œword count” and not number of stories.
    As to my first novel: I’ve cut it down to 144,000 words, but I still want to trim it some more. You know, tighten it up. Then I’ll have it published.

    Liked by 2 people

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  19. amreade
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:34:55

    I write contemporary women’s fiction and my word count is always around 80,000. There are industry guidelines to each type of writing. Here’s a link to a good baseline article: http://www.litrejections.com/word-count/. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. Erika Kind
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:25:47

    Hi, Sis! Looks like you are going serious… yeah!!!
    I published two little poem books. One has 35 poems with different lengths. And the other one “Enjoy Life!” has 24 poems also different lengths: http://www.amazon.com/Enjoy-Life-Inspiring-English-Poems-ebook/dp/B00KAD2C6M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400085023&sr=8-1&keywords=enjoy+life+erika+kind
    My book “I’m Free” has about 100’000 words. Check here: http://bookstore.balboapress.com/Products/SKU-000675695/Im-Free.aspx

    Liked by 2 people

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  21. Vashti Quiroz-Vega
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:21:04

    Hello Ritu! My first book was a suspense/thriller for a Pre-teen/Teen audience. The thought used to be that because their attention span was short so should the word count (that’s changing). My novel was 60,000 words which was perfectly acceptable for a tween book.
    Now I’m working on an Epic Fantasy series and my first book is 130, 000 words. I’m working on the second installment of the series and it will be around the same count 120,000-140,000 words.
    My point is that the word count is directly related to the genre of your story. There are general guidelines for each literary category. Check out this website. http://www.writing-world.com/fiction/length.shtml

    I hope I was helpful. πŸ˜€ xx

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  22. The Story Reading Ape
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:18:44

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:

    My friend Ritu has a few questions for you folks – please call over to Ritu’s blog to give her your answers 🐡

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. colinandray
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:13:29

    Book (Ray) imminent for publishing = 58,000 words
    Book poetry initial draft completed = 155 pages / 48 poems (note draft is letter size so would be in excess of 300 pages in 6″ x 9″ book size).

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  24. Barb Knowles
    Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:09:01

    I prefer shorter pieces, in the 400-750 word flash format. But I’m working on longer essays now. Most publishers want longer essays, I’ve found. That’s not a very definitive answer, so I’ll be reading your other comments as well. Good questions.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Feb 19, 2016 @ 17:16:44

      Thank you Barb.. I was just curious, as I have things I am working on, and I wonder whether they are better as a compilation of shorter stories, or do I go with the flow and see where things take me… my current WIP is at the 15,000 word mark, and by no means finished, but I don’t have the time to devote to it!

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

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