Word-Count Bias in Literature


Literature and word-count.  Does it matter?

I recently had two outstanding clients’ works of Literature rejected by agents I’ve worked with for many years.  In both instances, the books were niche-oriented and fit in perfectly with the boutique nature of the respective literary agencies.

It’s always hard to get the real reason why a manuscript wasn’t signed.  However, I got the impression each book didn’t contain adequate word-count.  Meaning, neither story was tome-length.

In the Literature genre, it seems as though a book must approach THE GOLDFINCH to get an agent’s attention.  A literary work that’s 75,000-85,000 words won’t get beyond treading water.  This seems even more of an issue if a debut author is involved.

Very disappointing when a high-quality manuscript is rejected for word-count alone.  Yet the facts seem indisputable.

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