The Importance of Manuscript Word Count When Submitting to Agents and Publishers

Many writers question whether or not the word count of their manuscript matters. In a nutshell, it does. Literary agent Steve Hutson says he has to keep in mind what a publisher expects when he's reviewing manuscript submissions, and publishers expect that the books he is pitching will meet genre expectations. Every genre has its customary word count range, per Hutson. If a manuscript is too far outside the expected range, an agent like Hutson can't help you. He might know one or two publishers that will accept the outliers, but he is looking for books that can be submitted to 30 or 40 publishers. If your manuscript is 20,000 words or 200,000 words, you aren't ready to submit. Know the appropriate word count range for your genre and edit your manuscript until you get there. Learn more about word count ranges by genre here.

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