Word Counts from the NYT Best Sellers’ List

Wonderful analysis.


macbook-606763_1280The story of the word count I imagine most resembles the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The aspiring writer steps into a publishing house, alluring and mysterious. She sits down at the kitchen table and sees three laptops sitting there. The same title is on each screen, but which to pick? She starts at the first and scrolls through fast. This word count is not enough. She skips to the second laptop, four-hundred pages later she decides she needs a nap, and that this word count is too much. But the writer is most hopeful for the story on the final laptop. She scrolls through, and yes! This word count… is just right.

But what is “just right?” I did a little bit of digging to find out. I was curious to know where my novels come in, if there were any exceptions to these rules, and what the sweet spot might be.

What do the pros…

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