Howling at this HOWL from a literary agent

Book recommendations with code switching

Dubious Literary Methods: The Tangential Telling of the Tale

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Sep 25, 2014
Folks. Do not do this. Or, yes do do it. You do whatever the heck you like, but don't complain if the agent ......

Seen on Twitter.

Received a 533,000 word submission. Promptly fainted. The end.

AGENT (the same agent) Epilogue: Kid you not, a 549,000 word one just came through. You probs know where I’m going with this. I fainted.
He. I don't blame him. Seriously, though, who these days, not yet a known writer, would expect to find a publisher for a first novel that length? Go on. Someone say it. LOTS of people.

Tolstoy's War and Peace 587,287 words.
We are not amused. I am, at the agent's horror. Not at the writer's chagrin but they'd better take note. This agent has set out the stall perfectly clearly, and is looking for genre fiction, especially speculative.

Word count by genre: How long should my book really be?

I hacked one back from 120k to 90k and it'll get another hacking wherever I find dead wood. It is a pity, @Robert M Derry, but hopefully, those writers are readers, studying the market, not beavering in a bubble.

It's a warning and maybe all is not lost for these prodigiously industrious writers. A series could be the way forward, predicated on placing the first one only (but there is a sequel...)


You'll note the exception. Sci Fi :) Up to 150 k.
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Thank you for the word count/genre link. I already had the basic numbers, but his explanation of the rationale -- what is the reader thinking? -- was very interesting.

I would like to know the view of the e-book sector on the 100,000 barrier. As a print person, I'm familiar with the jump in book costs that comes around there -- but does it still hold for e-books?
Life imitating art, eh? Isn't this exactly what happens to Stingo in "Sophie's Choice" when he is presented with an endless Old Norse Saga written by some Minnesotan farmer?
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Book recommendations with code switching

Dubious Literary Methods: The Tangential Telling of the Tale