Kneeling at the Altar of the Word Count Gods


Dear Lovely Laser Eyes,

I understand you’ve got gobbledygook in your brain. You’ve decided to cut the word count of your novel from 121,000 words to 70,000 words? You’re sick.


Dear Concerned,

It sounds like self-punishment, I know. But I think it might be self-love.


Last week, I got some advice from an author with a lot more experience in publishing. I asked her for some help with my pitch package. She took one look at my word count and told me, “No agent will look at your YA book with a word count of 121,000.”

When I was writing my book, I knew the word counts of YA were hovering around 60-80,000 but I ignored those numbers. Now, after getting over two dozen rejections from agents with zero requests for partials or fulls, I’m ready to kneel at the altar of the word count gods.

My goal has always been to publish traditionally. If you want to publish traditionally, you have to play by the industry rules.

Wish me luck, writer friends. Hopefully I’ll return with my sanity.


Querying Agents and Other Forms of Self-Torture

Dear Lovely Laser Eyes,

Where in the hell is your book that you finished, like last year?


Dear Confused,

Holy crap, I hear you! Where IS my book? I’m trying to find an agent. What a pain in the ass!

I’m trying to publish traditionally. I want that roaring machine behind me! I need the Frankenstein jump start on getting my book out there. How long am I going to give it? Probably six more months.

If not, I’ll self-publish of course. In the meantime, I’m going to keep writing as much as I can.

My strategy so far has been to query 6-8 agents and judge the response. If there are no partial or full manuscript requests, then tweak the pitch package. I’m on my third round and so far, no love.

The thing is, I know the book is good. My beta readers have scored it on average at 8.5 out of 10.

So what’s the deal? I think it’s a tough sell for agents because it’s told in first person, multiple point of view’s. While I was working on it, I got inspired watching “The Wire” television series. I loved seeing the story from so many angles. It’s so comprehensive and fascinating. That’s what I’ve tried to do with my book by telling it through seven different characters.

I’m going to keep trying, tweaking my pitch package with the help of people I’ve met on Goodreads and my writer buddies. With fingers crossed, I hope to find an agent that will be psyched to represent me.

If any of you have advice, I’d love to hear it!