Thinking of writing a book over 500 pages? How about 700? Or even 900 pages?
Do yourself—and your readers—a favor. DON’T.
Yes, some books are huge, like Stephen King’s tome, The Stand. But most of us are not Stephen King. What’s more, if you’re a new writer, most readers aren’t going to stick with your book much past 300 pages. That’s right, reader engagement often drops after that length. So tighten that shit up, folks. Hack, slash, and edit until your book manuscript is as close to the magic page or word count as you can get it.
Chances are, you can tell your story in fewer pages. Big-ass books by inexperienced authors usually mean there’s a lot of editing needed. Unless your book is outstanding or special in some way, readers won’t finish your tome. I don’t care how much you think it’s the next Great American Novel.
Writing a manuscript that’s over 500 pages—much less 900 pages—will get your masterpiece put back on the shelf or unpublished in the first place (if you go the traditional publishing route, that is).
You can do one of two things:
1. Rein in your ego, write tighter, and increase your chances of selling lots of books.
2. Ignore my advice, struggle to engage readers, and fail miserably at selling copies of your bloated tome.
Are there exceptions? Of course! There are exceptions to everything, you silly wabbit.
For instance, if you’re writing a literary novel, your word count will be markedly different than that of a picture book or YA novel. Use common sense. Do your research and hit the so-called sweet spot on your word/page count.
It’s up to you to decide whether you want to gamble on being the exception to the rule. You feelin’ lucky, punk or punkette?