Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category
Posted on May 2, 2011 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
Let me first say, there is no right or wrong in writing a novel these days. There are exceptions to every rule in the writing world. With that said, let me just say that these are guidelines and not absolute. I compiled these from a number of different sources and honestly, most of the answers differ. It really is all about what the individual publisher is looking for. It would be helpful to pay careful attention to specific guidelines given by any publisher that interests you as a potential place you will submit your manuscript. Most of the time, these guidelines are on their website and it is as simple as just looking for the information.
Let me also say, I hear the question “How many pages should a chapter be?” I have never found a definitive answer to that. I’ve read hundreds of thousands of books in my lifetime and there is no set number of pages that any chapter in any book that I’ve read is. In fact, every chapter seems to be different than the one before or after it. That isn’t a question that can be answered. The best advice I can give regarding chapter length, is simply the chapter should reflect the scene you are in, and when its time to move on, you’ll know it.
Since more often than not, its about word count, here is an average book or novel word count and how it is broken down.
- A Novel is always over 40,000 words, typically between 50,000 and 110,000
- A Novella typically falls between 17,500 to 40,000 words, but I have seen mention of up to 50,000
- A Novelette falls between 7,500 to 17,500 words, but I have seen reference to 20,000
- A Short Story is most typically over 1,000 but under 7,500 words. It sometimes can be up to 10,000
- An Epic or Sequel is most often over 110,000 words
- Micro-Fiction is most commonly up to 100 words
- Flash Fiction begins about 100 words to 1000 words.
Moving beyond that…
- An average Novel length is about 70,000-130,000 words.
- A typical Young Adult Novel is 60,000 words and up. Some publishers will look at 45,000. Most publishers would prefer you stay under 80,000 words.
- Most Middle Grade Fiction is about 25,000 words to 40,000 words, which typically averages at 35,000
- Most Children’s Books are no longer than 1,000 words or an average of 32 pages.
- Cozy Mysteries are typically about 60,000-70,000 words.
- Mainstream Mysteries and Crime Fiction are an average of 90,000 to 100,000 words
- Science Fiction and Fantasy is on average 100,000 words but some publishers will consider much more, if it fits in the story
- A Memoir should average about 70,000 – 79,000 words
If you are breaking it down by Page Counts
Industry standard prefers 250 words per page. This means that a 400 page novel, will be about 100,000 words. To get an idea of page count for books you are reading in your genre, take the page count and multiply it by 250. This gives you a rough estimate of word count.
Update with some new info:
I came across this list, and I can’t remember where from. I cut and pasted it into a writing file and just discovered it after I had already published this post. Adding it now, because I feel like it covers a lot of areas.
Short-short story 500-2500
Short story 2500-5000
Novel–hard cover 25,000-150,000
Humor feature 300-800
Book review 400-1000
Newspaper feature 800-3000
Magazine article 2000-5000
Nonfiction book 20,000-200,000
Juvenile picture book 500-1500 (varies)
Juvenile book–mid 3000-25,000
Middle grade 10,000 words-50,000 words
Young adult book 15,000-80,000
Poem 2-100 lines (4-16 lines preferred)
Speech 250 words = 2 minutes
12-15 pages = 1/2 hour
Book Proposal outline/summary; (varies) sample chapter(s)
Query Letter 200-500 1-2 full pages; single-spaced
Posted on October 17, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
My titles are very important to me, and I’m not completely sure why that is. Since most of the time when I am writing a novel, my title is a working title, I don’t give it as much consideration as I would if it was a completed manuscript. With that said, your title is important. It could be the one thing that grabs the reader. I know I have chosen a book based on it’s title before. (of course I have also chosen or not chosen a book because of its cover, so…)
How much weight do you put in your title while you are writing?
Curious to see if your title could become a best seller? For fun, try the Lulu Titlescorer to find out. http://www.lulu.com/titlescorer/index.php
You can also pit two titles against each other and see which is the better title. http://www.lulu.com/titlescorer/fight.php
So I ran my title from last year – and it had a 79.6% chance of becoming a best seller. That would be nice. Pretty good odds. lol
This years only has a 22.9% chance. That’s okay – it’s a working title. I can come up with something better, I’m sure of it.
So have you run your title through Lulu’s titlescorer? What’s your score?
Posted on April 19, 2010 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
Thanks to the wonderful world of Twitter, I came across this article via @FionaRobyn written by Gina Holmes (@Ginawrites), suggesting it is a good idea to promote your novel (which is really just to say – get your name out there) as early as possible. After reading the article in full, I thought it was well written, insightful and why wouldn’t you want to get your name out there from day one?
After reading the article, I was planning a blog post about it, but before I did, I hopped back on twitter.
In case you’re not on twitter, let me explain what I did. On twitter you get 140 character messages. You can RT (re-tweet) something that someone else has shared to pass along to all of your followers (chances are you have some that are not following the original poster).
I did this with the article and then returned to my blog to begin the post I wanted to write. I hopped back over on twitter a short bit later to get Fiona’s twitter URL and I found the following response waiting for me.
At first I was startled by the response, because it was obvious that she didn’t agree with the article at all. Being that I thought it was a good article, I was confused as to why, so I asked her. This was the response:
So of course I went to read the article. I found myself agreeing with much of what amos (@hoodedman) said (based mostly on my conversations with other writers/authors and knowing what a few of the real life authors I know went through. However, with that said, I am having trouble understanding how the two posts actually relate to one another.
Am I missing the bigger point? It seems to be that they are clearly speaking about two totally different things. And why would a little early publicity for yourself, and the ability to get your name out there, actually be a bad thing?
So I decided to post this on my blog and open up the comments so we can talk about it (mostly because 140 characters on twitter does not allow me to ask questions or say what I need to say). So please, take the time to read both articles and then come back here and tell me what you are thinking, if you agree with one or both, if you disagree with one or both and just generally tell me your thoughts. I promise to respond
Posted on December 29, 2009 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
Completely on a whim, I decided to apply at Suite 101 just to see what would happen. I have written for some pretty big named sites on the Internet, but when I applied to Suite101 in May 2008, I got turned down. Back then I was writing for families.com. Uhm. Okay.
So I put it on the back burner, and last night thought about it again. I applied using the SAME two clips I had used back then (the same two I tend to use most of the time because they have not been published anywhere).
Within two hours I got an email congratulating me on being accepted to Suite 101. Wow. I got accepted using the same two writing samples I used last time that seemed to have deemed me not worthy? I changed TWO words to make them past tense. That is all I changed, and honestly if anything – I would have thought that might have been more of a problem than the original way it was written. So funny.
Uhm. So now what? Got any words to share? I have no idea what in the world to write about, since I wasn’t thinking they would accept me again. What articles do well on Suite101? What articles stink on Suite101? I realize it is a residual site, so I want to find articles to write that are interesting and would keep people coming back long term.
Do any of you write for Suite101? Has anyone had my experience? You are rejected and then reapply later, and are accepted? My favorite part is that it was the same two articles. LOL The original “editor” must not have liked my topics. haha
Fill me in on your experiences with this site. I’d love to hear them!
Posted on December 22, 2009 - by Nicole Humphrey Cook
I have a friend who was recently contacted by Atlantic Publishing to write a book for them. Have any of you had any experiences working for or with this company? There doesn’t seem to be a lot out there about them, except I did find a few negative reviews. Problem is, all sites seem to have a few negatives.
Apparently, they give you a firm fee for the completed book (quotes seem to be between $1000-$1500) depending on who you ask, however you earn no royalties from future publications of the book. Only the one time fee.
If you have had, or anyone you know has had, any experience with Atlantic Publishing, I would be grateful if you would comment below and tell me about them. I am especially interested in people who have completed the book, and hopefully received their check. I would be interested in hearing the good, the bad and the ugly, so don’t hold back.
I want to know ALL about your experiences with Atlantic Publishing.