In a webinar I recently attended called The Busy Person’s Guide to Writing a Book, I finally got the elusive numbers that all authors want to know from Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the number of words a document should be. His rule of thumb is:
- eBook Opt-in (those “free” PDF’s from mailing list signups): 2,000 to 10,000 words
- Business Book: 50,000 to 60,000 words
- Non-fiction Book: 60,000 to 75,000 words
- Fiction Book (full-length novel): 75,000 to 120,000 words.
My ideal target is about 75,000 words. Though, getting into specifics, it’s 1,200 through 2,000 words spread across fifty-one chapters, or somewhere between 61,200 and 102, 000 words. Spirit ended up at six-five chapters plus the prologue and epilogue and approximately 100,000 words. Legend, the ungrammar-checked version sits at 69,744. The forty-one grammar-checked chapters have lost an average of eighteen words per chapter, which means the manuscript is projected to come in around 68,826.
Lots of numbers, I know, but I’m using this is make a important point. I’m measuring the rough draft status of A Dream to Share all wrong. While Legend has made slow, somewhat sporadic, progress, ADTS has been stuck on five percent for a while now. I thought I could use percentage measuring and just abtratlity update it when needed. Wrong. Thanks to having my perfect writing environment, I’ve been writing almost every day. Not always on the book I’m supposed to, but making progress when I do.
From now on, I’m using the word count feature with 75,000 as the goal and posting every time the word count changes on accepted material. Be warned, though, it’s probably going to fluctuate like the stock market as I adapt old material and create new. The ideas are flowing, so I’ve already changed my brain dump outline. I may take a day and revise it, just so I can keep myself on track. Events that happened in one POV have switched to another. I’m shuffling large chunks of text into the snippets category for safe-keeping or use later. A recurring, but not always used, character from Spirit has made an appearance with his little girl. Jo’s in trouble, not as bad as after the mauling or when she was Honeywell, but close. Chapters haven’t made it to 1,000 words yet. Heck, I”m not even sure how many chapters I’ll have.
It’s a very dynamic time for ADTS. Having two platforms to write / edit on helps keeps me disciplined. When I’m on my desktop, it’s Legend grammar check. IPad, ADTS or other novels write. The only time the two mix is when I connect my IPad to my desktop so I can dump the file for backup (both on the PC and Crashplan’s storage in the could.) When I finish Legend‘s grammar check, I’ll let myself write on the desktop while I’m waiting for the two sets of eyeballs that will be reviewing it.