View Full Version : Stating word counts in queries

06-22-2013, 05:35 AM
I have a book that is 34,700 words. I know that's too short for a novel but it's an MG book and apparently that is an okay length for an MG book.

Anyway, my question is do I have to say it's 34,700 words, or can I just round up to 35,000? What is the general practice?

That probably seems like a minor question but I still would like to know, I guess because I'm fond of details.


06-22-2013, 06:12 AM
Not sure about MG lengths but I think you round it up to the nearest 500, so 35,000 would be good. Hopefully, that will be confirmed straight away.

06-22-2013, 07:18 AM
34,700 is approx. 35,000, so you say you have an "approx. 35,000 word MG [genre] novel"

It's still short, but with MG, some books are very short.

Drachen Jager
06-22-2013, 09:34 AM
There's no rule as to where exactly you have to round. Generally I round to the nearest 5,000, but I really don't think it matters much. Agents just want to know the ballpark. Odds are it will see several edits before it ever goes to print, so the exact word count will change anyhow.

@Cyia You don't have to say the word count is approximate. IMO that just looks unprofessional and 35,000 is fine for MG, in fact it's almost dead-centre of the recommended word counts I've seen.

06-22-2013, 06:05 PM
I round to the nearest 5000 for books (the nearest 1000 for shorter works), and don't use words like "about" or "approximately."

Maryn, an inexact science

06-23-2013, 04:38 AM
35,000 sounds better than 34,700, so I'd go with it, first appearances being everything and all.

Debbie V
06-24-2013, 11:45 PM
I doubt most agents will care where you round to as long as your number is in the right ballpark. It's the story that matters.

06-26-2013, 01:03 AM
Cool, thanks everyone.

06-26-2013, 07:14 PM
35,000. And this is a pretty good length for MG.

Steven Hutson
07-01-2013, 04:37 AM
No editor is interested in precision with a word count, because it will surely change in the course of editing. Give an estimate.