Word Count

Questions About Writing Memoir…

Q. I’m a first time author, and have written a memoir about my autistic  son.  How important is having a platform for a memoir?  I keep  hearing that memoir is treated like fiction.  I’m wondering if my query letter might be the reason for rejections.  I’m getting no response.  Can I re-query with my...

Talking Nonfiction: Word Count and Promotion

Here are some questions that came in recently.  Both hadto do with nonfiction. Q. For nonfiction: Once the book is published, is the author required to keep a website going about themselves & the product? Or does agent do all promoting? A. Great question.  An agent will do little to nothing in terms of...

mckean

Agent Advice: Kate McKean of Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, Inc.

This installment features Kate McKean of Howard Morhaim Literary Agency, Inc. A native Southerner, Kate earned her Master's degree in Fiction Writing from the University of Southern Mississippi before starting her career as a literary agent. She is seeking: Her interests lie in literary fiction, contemporary women's fiction, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, mystery, young adult...

Is It Young Adult or Middle Grade?

Q. My 96,000-word manuscript features a 12 yr old and 11 yrs old protagonist, the themes are dark. Have been looking around and am unsure — YA or mid-grade?  Help!        – Marco A. I think I can help.  I just finished my first middle grade novel and, for a good while, I thought...

How Long is a Novella? And How Do You Query Agents For Them?

Q. What is the average length of a novella?  And is it’pitched’ to literary agents the same way novels are ‘pitched’?         – Gene A. Novellas generally run 20,000-50,000 words.  About 30,000 words is average.  While this number of words would be very common when pitching a nonfiction text, such a length reminds...

Why Can't I Get Past the Query?

Q. I know this will sound trite, but I have exhausted a multitude of possibilities, and have come up with a dismal fact. Unless you are a well-known actor or perhaps a sports personality, having a manuscript even looked at is like urinating on a rope and expecting the flow to reverse itself …...

Nathan Bransford Talks Word Count for Novels

Literary Agent Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown has a great post here on how writers commonly make their manuscripts too long.  See his entire post for his thoughts on all this. He says that more than 150,000 words is high (and it is!), but I would just come out and say “Aim for 100,000...