Saturday, July 13, 2013

Should I break up my long novel into several shorter novels?

I have completed and polished a 277,000 word manuscript of mature adult fiction. It is obviously large for one book, but I am unsure if I should break it into two or three smaller novels. Would I be wrong to offer it as one large submission to a literary agent and let their expertise determine the best way to handle the manuscript? 

A tough question to answer without actually reading the book. Of course, one can point to many longer novels throughout the course of history that needed to be as long as they were. But those tend to be the exception.

In general, the average novel is 75,000 words, so what you are proposing is nearly 4 times as long, with nearly 1,000 manuscript pages. This is sure to intimidate most agents so, especially given that it's a first novel and especially given it's genre (mature adult) I would indeed suggest breaking it into multiple works, each approximately 75,000 words, give or take. Of course you must find a natural place to break and begin each book. You may also find you need to add new chapters to end each book properly and/or to begin each new book properly.

Finally, because this is the mature adult genre, you may want to consider first trying to self publish as an ebook original and see how it performs. If the sales are astronomical, then you may decide not to find an agent. And if not, then you can always find an agent then. And if you break it into 4 books, then you will of course earn a far greater income.

1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.