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Word count! Yes, that again! :D

I thought this Twitter thread on word count/length for debut epic fantasy books from James Long, one of the chief editors of Orbit Books, an industry leader in fantasy publications, might be interesting. Especially since we're often told that any book over 100k is problematic!.


His 'rule' only applies to debut novels, traditionally publishing, and specifically epic fantasy, although he does say that it applies to 'space opera' as well. He is (as you'd expect) more concerned with the overall quality than the length, but is generally looking for books between 125k and 175k.

As he says... length can always be fixed!

  • Yes, we get a free-pass if we manage to cross the publishing barrier first, haha.

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    • I think sci fi and fantasy is the one area where word count can be longer than other genre's but there's always an argument that if a story is going to need 150k words plus then there's probably at least two books there if not a series...and we know how agents and publishers love series...

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