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How long is the average book?

Discussion in 'Writers' Room' started by Vadarya001, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. Vadarya001

    Vadarya001 Member

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    My book currently has about 45,500 words and I dunno if that's big or not. I read somewhere that 40,000 is long enough. Maybe I should just keep going... If you know the average length then could you let me know please? Well thanks...
  2. Eva

    Eva Member

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    The days of slight books are long gone. Maybe a teen romance or something, but that's about it. 80-100,000 words is expected. 60,000 maybe, but it would have to have something that would really call attention to it. Some young adult novels might still be 50-70,000, but they're getting longer too.

    In Writers Market and publisher's guidelines online, some publishers will give specific lengths that they prefer. Follow them--they mean it.
  3. Vadarya001

    Vadarya001 Member

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    Thanks... I should be able to reach 80,000. I've visited writers market but not the publishers guidelines one. I'll have to check it out... :)
  4. Eva

    Eva Member

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    What I meant by publishers' guidelines online was the submission guidelines that some publishers post on their individual websites. I didn't mean one centralized site, as nice as that would be.
  5. Vadarya001

    Vadarya001 Member

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    oooooo ha ha ha my bad. I get it now... well thanks. I'll just look up certain guidelines, and yes that would be quite nice if one such as that existed...
  6. Stewart

    Stewart New Member

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    Modern book? 70,000 to 130,000 words.
  7. Vadarya001

    Vadarya001 Member

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    Wow that's a lot. So yea.. I'll definately have to add on to mine.
  8. ewomack

    ewomack Member

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    I don't know!!!! Yet...
    How does Nicholson Baker do it? His books' spines are as thick as Slim Jims...
  9. brolie

    brolie Member

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    and the classics are fantastic at 100 pages. sigh. screw modern literature
  10. beer good

    beer good Active Member

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    Which classics would those be? Most of the ones on my shelf clock in at far more than that... whereas the short novel seems to be making a comeback lately. Of course, it helps if your name is Ian McEwan if you want to sell a 100-page novel.
  11. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe the sizes of the new books being published these days.
    "How long is the average book?" "Too long" is my answer.
    I was happy with novels at 250-300 pages, and I wonder what the drive is for these huge new doorstops. Maybe their outrageous prices? Maybe it is realtively cheap to add more paper and get more bucks? Not for me, unless they are outstanding. :confused:

    Memory is a horrible thing. :)
  12. brolie

    brolie Member

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    like animal farm or the great gatsby or one flew over the cuckoos nest...
  13. beer good

    beer good Active Member

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    My copy of Cuckoo's Nest is 288 pages. And having been published in 1962, I'm not sure if it qualifies as a classic. It's certainly a lot thinner than most books that are 100 years older.

    I wonder if someone has any actual facts on whether books are longer or shorter now than they were at some other point in the past. Not that it matters, really, since I'm sure we can come up with examples back and forth (War And Peace, anyone?) until Napoleon comes home, but just out of curiosity.
  14. brolie

    brolie Member

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    i guess i think of classics as books that have been read for years and years whether 40 years or not.. but has a sort of... "you must read" appeal to it like catcher in the rye and watership down, which watership down is a longer book too..

    there are longer ones but there are so many older good books that -- like great gatsby being 7 short chapters and smaller -- that i remember being able to read quickly and being few pages but were written so well...


    i think it more just bothers me that there is a requirement for "modern" literature... and i i know there are exceptions, but then they are novellas and what not.. uhg.. too much room for debate and opinion
  15. The Mythwriter

    The Mythwriter New Member

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    I would guess 200-300 pages, standard hardcover size. But I don't think anyone should weigh their book by word count. Brolie is right, classics were of all sizes, and it's just another facet of our culture that we judge books by length. You should write whatever you want to write, and if its better short, let it be short! Sometimes less really is more.
  16. PlaypitsPark

    PlaypitsPark Member

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    Don't panic about length. I get the impression that publishers would rather take a risk on publishing 50,000 words than 150,000.
  17. Russell Brooks

    Russell Brooks New Member

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    If you're a first-time author, you're safe with 75,000-80,000 words. You don't want to write more than that until you're a better known author with a bigger author's platform.

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