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Here we are at Week 23 in the #MFRWauthor 52-Week Blog Challenge Blog Hop.

I missed last week because I had my youngest son and daughter-in-law’s belated wedding reception to prepare for, and my oldest son visited from California. They all kept me busy. Some of you might remember they were married in October with only parents at the wedding, so the reception was for EVERYONE! Later this year, they’ll have their Official/ Unofficial honeymoon in Ireland.

On to today’s topic: Word Count Matters… How Much? How Often?

I’m not sure how to respond to this topic about word counts. Let’s see what I can come up with for Word Count…How much? How Often?

As the Author:

How Much: To me, a large word count matters in the cost of editing, formatting, and the cost of delivery in eBook format.

I have one eBook that has a delivery charge, which is Hey, Cowboy, Bull Rider Series #2, my largest book to date. In fact, I almost split it up into two books, but instead, I made Part One and Part Two within the same book. In revisions a few years later, I cut down the word count. The original word count was around 129,000 words. The revised edition is around 118.000. This was also the most expensive to publish regarding editing and formatting.

Tristan’s Destiny, Bonus Book #1.5 is my shortest book, a mid-size novel at almost 60,000 words, therefore, the cheapest to publish.

Word count matters when it comes to publishing houses. I don’t know if they all have word count guidelines, but the ones I’ve looked at do. Anthologies have word count guidelines whether they count full stories or excerpts only. Tease to Please- EXTRAORDINARY AUTHOR EXCERPTS is the anthology I have work in, which is excerpts only, and we had a word count of up to 1,200 words if I remember correctly.

How Much: When I start a book, I have a word count in my mind, but I’m not disciplined enough, apparently, to adhere to it. Sure, I could stick to an outline or a strict guideline, but truthfully, I don’t want to. I did keep Tristan’s Destiny shorter for the most part, yet, it’s longer than I wanted. This book was easy to keep shorter because it was an addition to Cowboy Boss and his Destiny, so the characters, setting, etc., were all in place. Hmm… So was Hey, Cowboy. What is my excuse for the longer count then? I wrote the story that needed to be told.

mary j mccoy-dressel, western romance, bull rider series

How Often: It’s my goal to stay under 80,000 words in future books. After this one → My current Work in Progress (WIP) is longer than I wanted, and I’ve tried cutting, cutting, cutting, but to tell the story that needs to be told, I’ve gone way over the word count I wanted even at the top end. Many revisions are ahead of me on this book. I’m excited to see where it takes me since I wrote The End three days ago.

With a shorter word count on some books, I’ve heard authors mention reviews stating their books were too short or the reader wanted more.

As the Reader:

I don’t buy books by word count. The cost factor matters sometimes. I catch myself looking at the size/ word count at a higher priced book, but if it’s a book I really want, cost or size doesn’t matter.

How Often: Once in a while I prefer a shorter book—a novella or mid-size. At Christmastime, I purchased some shorter holiday stories and read them quickly. I was happy with the stories because at the time all I wanted was a short read.

How often might also depend on an author writing a short-story or novella between larger works or as a prequel to a book or series. In my opinion, this benefits the author by keeping a steady flow of new books coming out. It benefits the reader because they get to read another book by one of their favorite authors. Readers might also want to sample an author’s writing, and picking up a free or discounted, shorter, book is a good introduction.

I don’t know if this prompt pulled out of me what was intended, but this is my input on the topic of Word Count Matters… How much? How often?

How about you, blog readers? What is your word count preference as a writer and reader? Does it matter?

This is a blog hop. Please visit the other participants to see what they have to say.

Have a nice weekend. Stay cool! Thanks for reading.

Top Image: Pixabay