Discussion in 'General Books' started by kittenalive, Oct 7, 2010.
What is a decent page length for a fantasy book? any ideas?
As many pages as it takes to tell the tale.
Commercial releases might have limits placed upon them - generally 500ish is about the most many paperbacks can take. Though some writers have 1000, 1200 page monsters all in one book *glares at Mr. Peter F. "spinebreaker" Hamilton*.
In the end its however many pages it takes.
well, i calculated how many pages one of my books would have and it only tallied to about 157ish, so i started all over lol.
but now i'm working on a different one lol. i'll just work on the otehr one for now lol
It depends on the country you're in. If in an anglo saxon country like England or U.S.A, it could be anywhere between 100 and 1200 pages, but in a country with a less developed market, as, say, Portugal, it will be between 100 and 550.
Yeah. As long as it follows the success formula, it's fine.
As a writer it's always best to think in terms of word count. 100,000 words is a good length to break in with these days. Anything much longer makes it harder to sell unless you're already an established writer. Epic fantasy novels nowadays may run 2-300,000 words, and fewer books are being published at longer lengths than 10-20 years ago.
One thing that is going to turn the market on its head is the ebook shift - with an effective 0 cost to produce the book itself (you just have to edit and format) I suspect this might change some key aspects such as book length as well as getting into the market.
I should say that even with ebooks the only proper way to get into the market is with a legitimate publisher - self publishing is generally far to expensive and lacking in marketing/coverage to make an income off and no-name publishers even on ebooks won't get you anywhere near a paycheck.
All the negative aspects of self publishing are fading these days. You can get ebook coverage comparable to what a publisher can, and POD is lowering the cost of self publishing dead tree books, although your main method of sale would have to be online stores, at least for the time being.
I'm not saying independant publishing is as good as mainstream publishing, but it's getting a lot better and who knows where it will be in five years.
As far as pay goes, for newcomers, the difference between indie and conventional publishing isn't likely to be amount of money as much as when money is payed. Conventional publishers pay several large sums over a period of about two years and there may be royalties after that but don't hold your breath. Self publishing pays smaller amounts more frequently and for as long as the book is available, which should be until your heirs decide to take it down from the website.
Now, established pros get much better advances from the big publishers, so it makes sense for them to stay with that model. But newcomers are better off closely examining all of the options. And remember, just because some of your books are published by Tor or Baen doesn't mean your other books can't be self published.
Lots of options.
I agree that ebooks will have an affect on length. You'll likely see many more books in the 15,000 - 50,000 word range, books that would have been unsellable only a couple of years ago. You'll also see short stories and short story collections by anyone and everyone.
No idea. Depends on what field your targeting, like YA and the like.
Hadn't thought of that, since I read little YA. Target audience certainly has an influence on length. YA books likely run 60-80,000 words, and Middle Grade books even shorter, but I'm not sure about details.
You can always do an estimated word count on a standard-size paperback by counting the pages from the beginning to the end of the story, subtracting partial pages, counting the lines on a full page, and multiplying by eight.
Example: The only paperback within reach is True Grit by Charles Portis, so I'll use that.
303 pages, but the story starts on page 7, so subtract 6 leaves:
297 pages, 7 chapters and each one wastes about one page of blank space, subtract 7 leaves:
290 pages, each with 26 lines, so multiply by 26 gives us:
7540 lines, multiply by 8 gives us:
Since it's an approximation, round off to 60,000.
I'd forgotten how short that was. Superb book.
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