The purpose of this article is to help novelists get a handle on the question of book length, and the impact that manuscript size can have on getting published and selling books. So the question is, does size matter? When I first took up the “pen” and started writing my first novel (about 14 years ago; never finished that one), one of my first questions was “How long does a novel need to be?” I was curious to the answer primarily because I wanted to have a sense for how much work lay ahead. Now I do understand, and I understood even back then green as a cucumber, that novels come in many lengths from Animal Farm at 29,966 words to War and Peace at 544,406 words. But outliers aside, if you’re a modern novelist aspiring (and perspiring) to become a successful published author, then it makes only good sense to write your first novel(s) to fit a length that today’s readers / agents / publishers find reasonable.
In this episode we chat about his favorite novel, as in what which he’d take to a deserted island if he could only take one. We learn his writing tools of choice — Mac or PC; Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, Scrivener, old fashioned typewriter; and what piece of software he can’t live without. We discuss which actors he’d like to see play the lead characters from Wool when Ridley Scott makes the movie. And we talk about the benefits of serializing your novel, ideal word count, and other publishing strategies that helped make Wool into the huge success it is. And other cool stuff, of course! Go watch it now and leave a comment for me, Hugh, or both of us. Enjoy!
In this episode I chat with New York Times bestselling author and self-publishing rockstar, Hugh Howey. We discuss his evolution as a writer, his humble beginnings in the world of self-publishing, and his subsequent rocket blast into the stratosphere of bestsellerdom, powered by the unlikely success of the near-orphaned short story which became Wool. But the thing you’ll love most, I suspect, is the fabulous advice he gives for being über-successful as an self-published author.