Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Book Length - Traditional Print Books and Ebooks

When I started my first book I had no idea how long it would be. I typed out 30,000 words, thinking I had written a lot more and then I decided that because I was publishing an ebook, I shouldn't worry about the length so much - I should just focus on the stories I wanted to tell and finish when I had no more to say.

By the time I had finished my second draft I was just over 60,000 words. When I had it edited this took it down to around 57,300, and I thought this was still a decent number of words to have written. But I soon discovered that if I had wanted to send it out to agents and publishers, the book length would probably have to be expanded. This is one of the main reasons why I love ebooks so much because the length of them doesn't come into the equation.

According to an article I read recently, in the ebook world, 10,000 words or less is a short story. 7,500 to 25,000 is a novelette. 20,000 to 50,000 is a novella. 50,000 to 120,000 is a novel.

So based on these figures my book is considered to be a novel. And yet in traditional print I still feel it would have to be much longer. I suppose books like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter don't inspire you to write anything shorter than 100,000 but at least with ebooks the old saying still rings true: size really does not matter.

I've now just completed over 30,000 words for my next book and this time I shall not worry so much about its final length.

1 comment:

  1. I have always been drawn to shorter works like novellas. I’m reading a book at the moment that’s 1030 pages long (I have 200 to go) and this will b the first and last book of this length I will ever read. No book needs to be 1030 pages long. I’m a great believer in saying what you have to say and getting off the page and I’ve felt really sorry for authors who, in order to get read by an agent or publisher, have needed to artificially inflate their text to meet some arbitrary word limit. It’s like those daft EU rules that say what shape a banana ought to be.