Tuesday, December 6, 2011

REASON No. 11 Your Book Was Rejected

So back to the proposal. We need to address:

* word count
 And, remember, we need to do this without being boring.

Of course, there is no way to raise excitement with word count--word count is as word count does. Or am I wrong? Perhaps there is a way to excite agents with word count (and I don't mean highlighting our word count in PINK, which I rather like). According to our mentor M, word count should be exciting. If it's not, a lackluster word count can get you...rejected! (Malicious laugh goes here).

REASON No. 11 Your Book Was Rejected: your word count is wrong.

What is it that gets publishers excited (you probably aren't wondering to yourself)? Well, profit of course. And a word count that is too long will cost more to publish just as a book with too few pages will have to sell for less. (This sort of evil discrimination doesn't happen to e-books!) Therefore--just the right amount of words--makes a publisher (and therefore an agent) excited!

Our mentor, Mike Nappa says, "If you really want to avoid rejection, and actually want to remove an obvious obstacle in the way your book is viewed by an agent or a publishing house, then do the simple thing here. Write a book that conforms to the word count agents and editors expect."

I know, I know...that word CONFORM makes us all cringe. But in this case, if you want an agent (and a publishing house) to get excited about your word count--then conform. Or, do an e-book. Or, be a rebel and write whatever you want and see how it goes.

What is the right amount of words? Well, that depends. The industry has its standards:
YA: 40,000-60,000
Historical fiction: 80,000-100,000
Adult non-fiction: 45,000-55,000
Adult novel: 80,000-100,000
Juvenile novel: 20,000-40,000
Picture book: 400-600

I hear those excited agents now, "Would you just look at this delicious word count! It's right on the money!"

How do my books hold up in the word count department (you probably aren't wondering to yourself)? Let me see, my memoir is 85,000 words -- the question now becomes is my book strictly adult non-fiction or is it adult novel (it is a story, after all). Hmmmm,, conundrum.

My other manuscript The MotherHeart of God: Biblical Evidence for the Femininity of the Holy Spirit
is a staggering 95,000 words. (I can't help it, I whine, there is A LOT of biblical information and since people aren't familiar with the topic I have to take time to explain things!) Way too long for adult non-fiction. Another conundrum.

What to do...what to do?

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