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The Long and the Short of it ~ Writing that is!

Image credit: pixabay.com/mozlase_

You’ve spent months, maybe years, putting your body, heart and sole into your manuscript. You’ve got it to the point it’s ready to share – but is it really? Take a step back, put it away for awhile and then come back to it with a fresh perspective. Have you considered the length of your manuscript? An article by Writers Digest outlines the pitfalls of going ‘outside the norm’ on the length of a manuscript for different genres. For example, although some books have succeeded quite well being 500-600 pages long – for most readers, this is enough for them to either not buy in the first place (especially from an unknown/untried author) or they’ll lose interest halfway through. They suggest for most adult literary fiction (also including memoirs) to stay within the realm of 80K – 100K words. If less – perhaps the story needs more rounding out ~ longer, it probably needs a good edit. As we’ve said many a times, a key component to achieving a professionally published book – particularly when publishing independently – are professional copy and proofread edits.

For children’s book and Young Adult (YA) authors, manuscripts are, of course, generally shorter based on age (with well known exceptions such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series). The article suggests these benchmarks:

  • YA – 55K – 80K
  • Picture books – text for 32 pages (around 500-600 words is generally a good fit but depending on age, style, illustrations – actual word count could be much less)

You’ve put so much work into your writing – it is important to take the time to ensure it is well received and appreciated. Keeping length in mind will only enhance the final product.

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