Why do we care about word count?

“Hi Jim,

Just wanted to know how important you think word count is when writing a book?

Appreciate it,


Well John, the short answer is that it is not important. It shouldn’t be a factor when you’re writing… usually.

If you have your heart set on writing a novel and getting it published as a stand-alone book, then… yes word count may be important. Let me put it this way, you or your agent will have a hard time convincing book stores to put your book on the shelf if it’s so small, that it barely has a spine.

That said…

I really would strongly caution you against worrying about it when you’re writing a story. The only time that you should truly be concerned with word count is when you’re doing a paper for class and the professor has a minimum requirement. Other than that, turn the auto word count off. Let the story flow the way you want it to and see where it goes.



Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:


Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!


6 thoughts on “Why do we care about word count?

  1. I’m very conscious of word count initially, then I forget. Editing will take care of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jbgarner58 says:

    Total agreement here. Focus on the words, not the word count.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. hsquarmby says:

    I do use it as a motivator when I am writing: OK so today I am going to get X amount written. It helps me….


  4. When I was sending my manuscript to agents I think the word count might have been a big deterrent. It was initially over 150k, and I’m an unpublished writer so I’m a lot more cognizant of it now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. franklparker says:

    Just popped by to say ‘thanks for the like’. I shall browse around here.


  6. I read online that 70K words is the minimum for a first novel. My first novel is only 55K, but I had no idea about this word count then. I pushed myself a bit harder with the sequel and it’s just over 70K now. That said, I self-published on Amazon, so who cares!


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