Budgie’s Journal #43 – Legnth Matters

Recently, I’ve seen a few posts on book lengths, listing how long your book should be for your respective genre. I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer my two cents.

I’ve never submitted any manuscripts to a publisher. I self publish, and I always have. I find that as an indie author, keeping things on the shorter side tends to help.

“Readers of independent authors like books that are shorter, preferring novellas to full novels,” is something I heard years ago. I’ve written a few novellas, twenty to thirty thousand words long. And I’ve also written some novels, my longest bring eighty thousand words.

For an indie author, self-publishing, the target for your novel should be forty to fifty thousand word. No more than sixty if you hit the zone. Nobody should end a story before its time.

Keep in mind, this is just based on my personal experience over a three year course.

Guides are useful, especially if you aspire to become a best-selling author under the umbrella of a major publishing house. But if you’re a hobbyist like me, who writes in the sparse free times you get, publishing your own wares, answering to no one but yourself; you may want to skip over-padding your work to boost your word count.

I’m not suggesting you keep it all short. I’m just saying that a forty thousand word manuscript can have the same impact as something over a hundred thousand if it’s well-written and entertaining.

Just keep writing. Ignore the voice in your head telling you there’s a number you have to hit…

…unless your publisher tells you otherwise.

-Budgie Bigelow

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