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Word Count

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cw gortner
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Post by cw gortner » Mon December 6th, 2010, 3:17 am

[quote=""Divia""]That's very interesting CW that you had a word count in your contract. Hmm! Is this common?[/quote]

Yes, always, as far as I know. Every contract states a word count; it can be negotiated, though very rarely above the editor's limit.
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!
THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles


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Post by Margaret » Mon December 6th, 2010, 4:55 am

My first Spymaster Chronicles' book, The Tudor Secret, is just under 100,000 words. Last week I learned to my astonishment that Target has picked it for February as a Bookmarked Breakout book, which will give it special display and in-store promotion. Costco has made a significant buy, as well, and Borders has selected it as a BOGO pick in February (on the Buy One, Get One table); the initial print run is also the largest I've had yet on a book.
Congratulations, Chris! And thanks for the detailed information - I know I'm not the only one who will find it helpful.
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Post by SarahWoodbury » Mon December 6th, 2010, 5:41 am

Congratulations! It's great to see so many people here doing so well!

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Post by michellemoran » Mon December 6th, 2010, 5:54 am

Christopher, as I've said before, your news is 5000 kinds of fabulous!!!!!! CONGRATS!!!

I could NOT agree with your advice more. Big boxes like Target and Costco can be wary of longer books. And a big buy at Target can change a writer's life, as your link pointed out.
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Post by Proseking » Mon December 6th, 2010, 6:21 am

To the best of my knowledge, the book becomes expensive to publish it it's over 100K. For a debut novel most publishers won't want to publish a book over that figure. For an established author of course, it's a different ball game. My debut novel, just published, is 85K.

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Post by michellemoran » Mon December 6th, 2010, 9:04 am

Congrats Proseking!!! Wow - lots of great things happening this year :)
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Post by EC2 » Mon December 6th, 2010, 10:38 am

Great news Chris - congrats, :) and some very interesting information.

Divia, I reckon when published the new work will come out at around 500 pages give or take. I always have a word count written into my contract - 120,000 but I've had that since the beginning and no one's ever bothered about the higher number of words.
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Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

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Post by parthianbow » Mon December 6th, 2010, 10:51 am

Divia - as CW and EC have said, my contract is for a stated number of words too - 130k minimum, but my editor isn't worried as long as I don't go over 160k. She has a saying that '10k words can be hidden in the book', which means that those 10k words can be concealed in the same size paperback as a 150k length novel, simply by changing the typesetting/layout etc.

I believe that all contracts are the same, listing the length of the ms. that needs to be written.

It's interesting hearing the US take on this. To my knowledge and experience, there's nothing like that pressure on authors here in the UK. And when my first book got bought in the US, no one asked me to cut it. (It's 143k in length.)

And CW - wow! That's brilliant, brilliant news. Congratulations. May your book fly off Target's shelves in its tens of thousands! (I'm minded to start writing shorter books too! :-) )

Proseking - well done too! What's your book called? What period of HF is it about?
Last edited by parthianbow on Mon December 6th, 2010, 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: addendum
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon December 6th, 2010, 1:54 pm

Congrats to Chris and Proseking!

My latest is 89,315 currently. It's the longest thing I've written so far.

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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon December 6th, 2010, 3:38 pm

Thanks to all for keeping this topic up front. I just took the first chapter of the current WIP, which was 5,338 words, and combed through it again. Over 500 words came out, and it didn't lose a thing. In fact, it gained.
This Ms was tracking to come in around 140. Now I'm determined to get it down to 110. Still too long, I know, but better than WAY too long.
And congrats C.W. on the target deal! (Can they get Juana and Isabella out there?)

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