What do you think? Is this just an online phenomenon, or does it apply to eBooks and paperbacks as well? We would love for you to comment and let us know your preference and/or your thoughts.
We noted that for adult commercial and literary fiction, Writer’s Digest considers below 70K too short, but they consider 80-90K “totally cool.” Anything from 100–110K might be too long, and over 110K is considered too long. They stress that a writer should strive to follow the rules rather than pray to be the exception. Of course, this has more to do with traditional publishers, who have stricter budgetary concerns than those who publish independently.
Our question is not about publishing budgets, however. It is about the willingness of readers to dive into books of different lengths. So, based on the word count divisions below, we would love to know to which you are most drawn and why.
Short story: under 7,500
Novelette: between 7,500 and 17,500
Novella: between 17,500 and 40,000
Novel: between 40,000 and 70,000
Novel: between 70,000 and 100,000
Novel: between 100,000 and 130,000
Even though I am presenting the question, I would have a hard time answering it. Why? Because I would want to insist it depends on the story. However, once again, I would be distracting myself from the actual question: Does the word count of a fiction story have an influence on whether I buy/read it? Has the digital age spoiled us with its brief summaries attached to headlines so we don’t have to read further? Are we too anxious to get to the point, the climax, of a story that we can’t relax into the journey?
As writers we are interested in your take on this, of course, but as avid readers, we are curious as well. Looking forward to your thoughts.