Sunday, 29 June 2014

How much of a novel actually gets read?

There is always an argument among authors about how many words are entitled to be called a novel.  Back before self-publishing, most traditional publishers insisted on between 150,000 and 250,000 words and I have noticed that traditionally published books are getting tediously long.
 
While it is what is expected of War and Peace, I have found myself flitting through pages and muttering Oh, for God's sake get on with it!
 
I do not want endless pages of description, or irrelevant snippets from a character's past which have nothing whatever to do with the story.  When I write, there will be descriptions, but not two or three pages of them and I won't go into anything which is not relevant to the story being told.  I leave out the bits which I would skip over anyway.
 
My shortest book is Mirielle at 34,000 words.  I would call it a novella.  My longest is The Romany Princess at 80,000 words.  Most of my books are between 50,000 and 60,000 words;  the estimated number of pages on the Amazon website is misleading as they are, in fact, quite a bit longer and that estimate seems to change if I edit and re-upload at all, so it is best not to pay too much attention to it.
 
Off now, to take the baby bears out. 

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