New novelists may not even consider the importance of word count, but publishers find word count important. Write a book too short, and the reader may not see the value in purchasing the product. Write a book too long, and the publisher has to put more money into producing it. Both are risky. So how long should your book be?
Well, average range for a book is between 71,000 to 110,000 words. Most books fall around the 80,000 mark.
So what if my book is too short?
Edit. Revise. Add another complication, but be careful. Adding to a novel for the sake of word count can be dangerous. You want your words to always have purpose. One way to make sure your words add something to the story is to build another complication into the novel. This should be something that makes the conflict harder to solve. It will not be easy to edit, but it is one way to reach that elusive word count.
So what if my novel is too long?
Edit. Revise. Take out the unnecessary words and descriptions. Leave the most important details. Take out the scenes that reflect everyday life but don’t help your story progress.
Ultimately, word count is your decision. Books can be longer or shorter than these standards, but it may be more difficult to find a publisher. If you’re willing to accept that challenge, than by all means produce a novel at whatever length you desire.
Best wishes to you and your writing this week!