View Full Version : Revisiting new word counts for Harlequin

03-21-2006, 08:01 AM
I'm at a loss as to what to do here. If Harlequin is going to be changing their word count requirements but the website still has the higher numbers, what should I go with?

I have a novel I would like to submit in the next couple of weeks. I'm doing one last run through (at least my fifth rewrite) and I've cut out several thousand words and reworked it to fit their Superromance line. Website says 80-85k, but supposedly this is changing to 70-75k. I'm at 82k page count and 79k according to Word.

I'm sure I can get it down into the 70-75 range but if their current guidelines are showing the higher count, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by being too far under. On the other hand, I don't want to be too high if they're going to change them.

Am I seriously over thinking this? :) Help! Before I drive myself insane...

oops...too late.

03-21-2006, 09:33 AM
Close enough! Get the story where you like it, no more, no less, and as long as you are close, send it. That's what revisions are for.

And...how are you calculating anyway? Computer count? Page count x 250?

Editors know it is hard, but think of it as their job to make things fit properly. It's our job to write the best story we can, and get the word count within range. My guideline is 60K, my first book was 62K, but another author for the same line was 53K. It's a window. Throw the ball through the opening without breaking the glass.

03-21-2006, 11:50 AM
Computer count is showing 79k...page count is somewhere around 82k.

03-23-2006, 02:39 AM
Don't borrow trouble. Send the query, don't mention your word count. If they ask for the whole thing and you're still not sure about word count send it and they can ask you to cut.

I honestly think one reason people don't get published is because they overthink things that just don't matter and no matter how many people with experience tell them it doesn't matter they listen to some schmo on a website who has some doofus horror story about how doing "X" cost so and so their only hope of publication.

I don't know any published author who can say they got where they are by
2)following every "rule and rumors of rules" to the letter.

If the book is ready, send the query

Luanne Jones (Mira - Heathen Girls)
Annie Jones (Love Inspired - April in Bloom -- my 22nd book over the last 11 years under dif names for Silhouette, Random House, Multnomah, Avon, Harlequin) - for the first few I didn't even know what word count was and now I do everything I can to make the pages seem like the right amount (including monkeying with the page setup) and never check the computer count and I continue to get work)