In October we posted a request for reader questions and got some great ones . . .
I wrote a dark urban fantasy novel, which was complete at about 65,000 words. It’s the first in a series. I know that it’s too short and that it should be at least 80,000, but it’s 356 pages, and doesn’t the publisher use a different word count than the one used in Microsoft Word? Or do I need to flesh it out more. I sent out 10 queries on 10/20/06 and received a request for a partial on 10/24/06 from a major agency, so I guess there are exceptions? I’m nervously awaiting the repsonses from the others. I wanted to query you guys, but was not sure you represent what I write. I think you guys are great and I love this blog!
When doing word count I would stick to the 250 words per page method. Microsoft Word can be weird since dialogue can be short and snappy and not take a lot of words, but because a three word sentence can equal an entire line in the book it can take a lot of space. That’s why publishers usually use the 250 words per page method: it’s more reliable in terms of how many pages a book would be (really their concern over words). If you use that method your book is really closer to 89,000 words and you are right on target.
As for BookEnds, we would not be the best place for an interest in dark urban fantasy unless it’s a romance first with dark urban fantasy elements. It’s a fine line, but it makes a big difference when it comes to who we would submit to. We have a number of contacts and a lot of experience in the romance world, but not the same type of expertise in fantasy.
It sounds like you are on the right path. Good luck!