600 Pages: Epic Big Super Sized Novels and Why You Should Never Write One

(And what to do with it, if you have written a 600 page novel.)

/ /



In the past few years I have seen two trends rise up: super short mini novels ranging from 40,000 to 75,000 words and mega giant epic novels with 600 pages of tiny fine print. Neither are very good sellers, though the shorter works are picking up in sales faster than the longer works.

The trend towards the super giant monster sized 600 page novels is seen mostly in the high fantasy genre (a genre I specifically DO NOT read because I barely have time to read a standard sized 200 page novel, so will not even attempt to read a 600 page novel no matter how good it sounds.)

This trend in 600 page fantasy novels was triggered by the release of The Lord of the Rings movies, which inspired a wave of sales in the novel by Tolkien. The novel is sold in 600 page editions, which causes new and young writers to (falsely) assume they HAVE to make their own novels reach 600 pages in order to get published. The problem here is they fail to realize that The Lord of the Rings is in fact a series of 9 novels, which publishers first compiled into sets of 3 books (Fellowship/Towers/King), each of those 3 books containing 3 novels combined. The large 600 page books sold under the title "Lord of the Rings" is these 3 sets of 3 novels each book, now combined into one volume of 9 separate stories, with the separation removed so that readers can read the whole story as though it were 1 single solitary novel.

It is folly to look at Lord of the Rings and say because it is a 600 page novel, I therefore must write my novel in 600 pages, because Tolkien in fact wrote a series of 9 novels at aprox 90 to 120 pages each. (The font of the 600 page editions is greatly reduced in order to get all the words in those 600 pages, this having been done because there are no printing presses in the US that are capable of printing a book with more than 600 pages in it.)

If you are going to use LOTR as your justification for a 600 page novel (which is what most new writers do say as their justification) than you also need to look at the fact, that when it was written Tolkien DID NOT sit down a write a 600 page novel. Tolkien sat down and write a 120 page novel. Than after publishing it, he wrote a second 120 page novel, and so on and so forth until he had written 13 novels in the series. (Only 9 of which are included in the 600 page single bound edition, the remaining 4 did not fit, as the text could not be shrunk small enough to make them fit and there are not printing presses able to produce a book with a higher page count, thus 4 books [the beginning and end of the series] were cut out and remain largely ignored, with many fans of the series being completely unaware that there was much more to both the beginning and end of the story.)

I receive many questions from first time writers, stating they have written a 600 page book and can't find a publisher for it, and are confused because they read LOTR and can't understand why publishers don't want 600 page manuscripts when LOTR is proof that 600 page fantasy novels are a huge success.

The fact of it is, LOTR is proof that a series of 13 fantasy novels each averaging 120 pages was a big success, and was able to be compiled (30 years later) as a single volume 600 pages long, simply because it had already been a best selling series for 30 long years.

Let's look at a recent question involving a 600 page fantasy manuscript planned to be the first 600 page book in a series of 600 pages books:

"I'm a first time writer still going to college (18 y/o) and have been creating a entire world filled with everything you can think of, in a dark fantasy tone and realism ...(details of story removed)... my first book is estimated 600+ pages. And this is to be a series, my head is like 2 books in advance of events. I just need to get better at writing before I begin writing for real.

The problem here it is, I have been told, "First time writer" + "600+ pages first book to be a series" no publisher wants a book of 600+ pages that [it] must be created in a book [set] of 4 to 7+

What to do then? I really don't want to shelf something I've worked on for 9 months...to create short stories? To get recognition?

 What should I do?  I have a few short stories (100-300pages) that I've written down a summary for...but the writing style has to be changed for the type of stories those are...do I continue with to my gigantic piece of work and hope that I might get a publisher in the UK? I'm really confused on what to do, cause this universe I created is what I want to write but as it seems so unearthly unlikely that I would get it published I get a little bummed. (I will NEVER, self publish)

I'm doing it for myself, as an escape...in a way from reality. Being the puppeteer holding all the strings is something I've always wanted to do. But of course it would be nice to get something actually published and in a way credited for my story, and if I were to be so lucky it'd become my job. I wont self publish my big story, but perhaps others, slim chances though.

 It's kinda hard to stop as well, I've made over 200+ characters...most likely alot more. I've created small plots that you can hardly see in the start and then you go "ahhh" and everything. Motivations for characters, motivations for everything that happens, backstory, everything got an additional wall of story behind.

You might think this too much or whatever, but I assure you it is not. Everything should be ready before I start writing properly, so a new character I have in mind doesn't just pop up in a puff of smoke.

the first book does end with a certain it's done feeling, but loose strings everywhere make it so that it should be continued. Of course if it were a complete shit pile of trash then it could just be left at that.

I have thought about contacting a publisher and just talk to him / her and ask questions etc, perhaps they have some insight? "

There are a lot of things going on in this question, but as the primary question is in regards to having been told no one will publish a 600 page book, so let's look at this part of the question first. In conjunction with that, let's also look at your very warped perception of the term "short story". A 100 to 300 page story is nothing close to being a short story. Harry Potter at 300 pages was considered a mega giant epic novel. Harry Potter at 300 pages was one of the largest fantasy novels ever published. Epic sized mega monster length Harry Potter at 300 pages is only half the size of your 600 page super Goliath.

There are a few things you need to consider here, starting with #1 there is only 1 printing press in the USA that prints books over 700 pages long and they only print Bibles on onion skin tissue paper and college textbooks. (You can not use regular paper thickness for books of more than 700 pages. The bigger the book, the thinner the pages.)

If you were to self publish it, LuLu.com will publish a book over 600 pages up to 700 pages but they will charge something in the range of .10c per page on top of regular printing fees (which means your book will be priced at around $75 per copy).

There are about 375 words on the average page of a printed book. This can vary from 250 to 430 depending on font size and margins.

The industry standard used by most publishing houses falls into the range seen here, which assumes 375 to 400 words per page:

Flash fiction - 3,000 words or less; fewer than 10 pages
Short-short - 3,000 - 7,500 words; about 10 to 20 pages
Short story - 7,500 - 15,000 words; about 20 to 40 pages
Novelette - 15,000 - 35,000 words; about 35 to 85 pages
Novella - 35,000 - 75,000 words; about 85 to 175 pages
Short Novel - 75,000 - 90,000 words; about 175 to 225 pages
Novel - 90,000 to 120,000 words; about 225 to 300 pages
Big Novel - 120,000 to 180,000 words; about 300 to 450 pages
Epic length Novel - 180,000 words or more; about 450 to 600 pages

(a 600 page book is about 250,000 words)

As you can see from this chart, the true, proper and correct definition of a short story is a work of fiction 10 to 40 pages in length. And yet you have stated in your question that you might be able to write a short story of maybe 300 pages. Honey look at those numbers again: a 300 page story is considered a "BIG novel" and is often considered too big for publication.

When you go to publisher's websites and look at what they ask for, you will find that most every one of them says:

"Seeks manuscripts of 90,000 to 120,000 words; will not look at anything under 75,000 or over 150,000. Most of our books are edited to 280 printed pages."

You can search hundreds of publisher websites and you will be hard pressed to find any publisher big or small, that will consider ANYTHING longer (or shorter) than 280 pages. 280 pages is the standard, not because it's easier to read or anything like that, but rather because it's the cheapest trim size (known as mass market paperback) for print shops to print up. A publisher is not looking at how good your writing is, as much as they are looking at how well you can write what they can publish cheaply enough to make a profit.

If you write a book significantly longer (or shorter) than the standard mass market trim size, the publisher has to pay extra fees to have the printing press change their paper rollers and signature gluers around. This costs the publisher several thousand extra dollars, which means instead of earning dollars per book sold they are now earning pennies per book sold. In order to justify doing this, they have to be guaranteed your book is going to sell millions and get picked up for movie rights.

Sure you may have a spectacular story that readers will love, but readers are not willing to pay more than $5 or $7 for a paperback book, and if the publisher can not sell your book in that price range, they are going to refuse to publish it not matter how great it may be.

When your book goes to a publishing house, the editor is going to look at it asking:

"Can this be edited down (or up) to 280 pages?"

They are not asking if it is good writing or if the story is great. They don't care about that because ANY story no matter how crappy it is, can be edited into something great and ALL writing no matter how shitty and full of errors can be edited into perfect grammar. The editor will be looking at page count first and foremost.

If your story is really wicked super duper good, the best thing he's ever read spectacular than the editor will ask you to chop the script down to 120,000 words or less; or very rarely will ask you to divide it up into 2 or 3 volumes of 120,000 words or fewer each.

If you tell them you won't do it because your dream is a single volume 600 pages long, well then there are plenty of other authors out there who are more than willing to stick to guidelines and edit their books down to 120,000 words, so why should they waste their time on someone who's too much of a spoiled brat to work with the editor and make the book publishable? If you start bragging you can't or won't edit your book from 600 pages to 280 pages than you'll be viewed as a snotty egotistical spoiled brat not worth wasting time or money on, and they will move on to the next author.

Sorry to say it, but you are only a drop in a bucket, and for every great manuscript you send there are thousands more just as good as yours sitting in that slushpile waiting to be read by that same editor.

You have to decide what is more important to you: getting published or writing the book your way?

If getting published is important than you are going to have to learn to make huge sacrifices with your stories by cutting out entire characters, subplots, and even chapters, in order to comply with the publisher.

If writing the book your way is important, and if your way means each volume of your series is 600 pages long, than really your only option is to self publish.

Remember the issue here is not how great your story is, but that the publisher is using a machine that only produces books 280 pages long, so you can bitch and moan and scream and cry and boo-hoo all you want, but if their machine only makes books 280 pages long, there ain't nothing you can do to change that unless you have a few million dollars in pocket change laying around so you can buy the publishing house a machine which does glue up books 600 pages long. They simply can not make a book 600 pages long if they do not own the machinery required to create a 600 page book!

If you are seeking to be published, than you MUST write a story 280 pages long (120,000 words) no IF, ANDs, or BUTs about it. No amount of "But my 600 page story is a masterpiece!", is going the convince a publisher otherwise, because a publisher has a huge machine that only prints up books 280 pages long. No more no less. 280 pages. You either write a book that machine can print up, or you don't.


Now that you have a better understanding of WHY a publisher can not publish a 600 page book not matter how great it is, lets look at your options. You seem to think your only option is a set of giant super sized books, but I can assure you that this is far from being your only option and it is also far from being your best option.

When you said you had created 200+ characters, two things came into my mind. Pulp Serial (which can be either a series of short stories or a comic book series) and RPG (Dungeons and Dragons, PathFinder, etc)

The typical standard novel has 1 main character, 1 to 3 major supporting characters, and 5 to 7 undeveloped minor characters who likely don't even get assigned names. That's it. Rarely will you find a book with more than 9 characters even mentioned. Most books only have 3 characters who are named.

Your book has 200+ fully developed characters, which indicates you are designing either a serialized story or massive multi player game, and not an actual novel.

I understand your plight here. I too created a massive universe. In my universe there exists 75+ main characters and countless supporting characters and entire villages of minor characters. There are cities, empires, solar systems, planets, star ships, races, religions, recipes, rituals, cultures, languages, maps, everything. It's a massive world 35 years in the making. I doesn't fit in a novel. But it does fit is serialized short fiction. I started writing it in 1978 and today 35 years later there are more than 200 stories in the series, each story ranging from 10 to 75 pages long for a grand total of well over 7,000 book pages of text. Yeah, and you thought yours was long at 600 pages.


Ads by Google


The End?

No, you have NOT reached the end of this article! What you have reached is the end of what it currently online. The rest is coming, hopefully it'll be on here in a day or three so keep checking back. I will remove this message at the same time I put the rest of it online.

As my long time readers will already know a server crash took down most of the old free-hosted site on June 4, 2013 (which was online since 1997 and had reached 6,000+ pages). Thankfully everything was saved on a separate hard-drive and the site is being rebuilt with a new host and for the first time on it's own domain. YAY!

I am currently moving all 6,000 questions&answer articles to this site one page at a time, at a rate of about 4 to 7 new pages being added each day, so be patient. Not all links are yet clickable. This process started on September 2, 2013 and will be ongoing at least through to January 2014. (And it may be well into 2017 before all 6,000 pages will be back online if I continue at this rate of 5 a day.)




Your Questions Answered

Who can I contact if my questions are not answered here?







Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

More pages you might like...



Ads by Rakuten LinkShare




By EelKat Wendy C Allen


If life gives you lemons, then you grab life by the balls and say you're taking them too.

Why make lemonade when you can make testicle stew? 

I don't take shit from no one, I stand up to bullies like you.

~EelKat


Don't let a bully pretend they are the victim, their crocodile tears are just a deviant trick they use to hurt you even more, by convincing others to not help you.




Today's Featured Videos:










Books By EelKat
Currently Available on Amazon Kindle:

Paperback:


And why 27 books were deleted off Amazon after being banned by The Old Orchard Beach, Maine Town Hall, an American Government organization, on January 4, 2016, for being "Too Gay For The Family Friendly Town of Old Orchard Beach".






| YouTube | Twitter | FB Profile | Tumblr | Pinterest | FB Page | FB Group | Google+ | Myspace | Instagram | LinkedIn |


Custom Search


Ads by Google


Grammarly Logo


Top 101 Most Viewed Pages Of 2017 So Far
(Out of 9,772 pages)

(January 2017 to June 2017)
(Excluding the Home PageAbout Page, and Site Map Page, which were the top 3)

  1. Medieval Servants: Their jobs and their place in historical fiction.
  2. Amphibious Aliens: The Story of Etiole & The World's Most Haunted Car
  3. On being a handicapped CosPlayer at PortCon Maine 2017
  4. Flamboyant Nipples: The KKK's New Gay Hating Site About Old Orchard Beach
  5. The GoldenEagle: An Auto-biography of the World's Most Haunted Car
  6. How Long is 50,000 Words?
  7. Writing Mute Characters
  8. Autism, Asperger, PTSD, & Mad Cow: What is wrong with Quaraun? (Writing A Clinically Insane Character Accurately)
  9. Writing Dares Random Generator
  10. Stephen King's The Thinner and The Gypsies Of Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  11. The Saco River Curse
  12. Don't put flyers on people's cars...
  13. Our Primary Site Topic Is Small Penis? Reaching #1 on Page 1 of Google.
  14. Why Crude Adult Comedy and Pink Humor Yaoi Is Not Erotica
  15. Quaraun Free To Read Online Complete Chapter Index In Chronological Order
  16. Albino Races - Moon Elves In The Quaraun Series
  17. Help FBI End Anti-Gay White Power Terrorist Attacks of Old Orchard Beach
  18. Autism, Asperger's, And The Danger of The Self-Diagnosis
  19. 600 Pages: Epic Big Super Sized Novels and Why You Should Never Write One
  20. The Jiggler & The G-String Teddy Bears | The Adventures of Quaraun The Insane
  21. Spell Casting Side Effects: Magic In Quaraun's Universe | Author Interview
  22. Necromancy: Fact Vs Fiction; Or How Can You Be A Necromancer In Real Life?
  23. The Dazzling Razzberry aka EelKat's Autism Awareness Car
  24. The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - page 1 (Online Release of Banned Book)
  25. Markiplier Jacksepticeye and Pewdiepie Play Resident Evil 7
  26. What Type of Music Does A Gypsy Listen To? My Top 10 Favorite Bands
  27. World's Most Haunted Car Merchandise
  28. Is It a Novel, a Novella, a Short Story or Something Else?
  29. I Am Not GhoulSpawn | Excerpt From Rose Garden of The Pink Necromancer
  30. BoomFuzzy Chapter 1 (Novel Excerpt - Quaraun The Insane)
  31. Psychedelics In A 'High' High Fantasy World (High Elves Getting High)
  32. World-building In The Quaraun Series: Creating a Fantasy World
  33. City of The Slushies | Chapter 7 | Quaraun The Insane
  34. How to Handle Writing Fantasy-Horror That Features Violence Against Children
  35. How To Write A Stage Play Script Frenzy 2010 Writing Dialogue
  36. Quaraun GhoulSpawn and The Lich Lord's Lover: The Lover's Triangle
  37. An Elf Gone Mad: The Rise of The Pink Necromancer
  38. A Field of Poppies On The Road To Witch Pond | Summoner of Darkness
  39. The Banshee Sisters: Bean-Nighe and Ben-Neeyah In the Swamp of Death
  40. Amphibious Aliens: My health since the stroke and Etiole . . .
  41. Beware of White Men In Gypsy Clothing: Fake Psychic Scams
  42. Online Income: The Reality vs The Fantasy
  43. OtherKin: My 30th Anniversary of Being Transgender
  44. Autism and the Stigmas - Why Can’t You Accept Me As Me?
  45. Old Orchard Beach Hate Crimes
  46. Suicide, Rape, and Abuse In The Quaraun Series
  47. Writing Racist Characters VS The Ku Klux Klan In Old Orchard Beach, Maine
  48. A Gallery of Fetish Shoes
  49. Custom Leggings - Designs By EelKat
  50. EGL: Elegant Gothic Lolita
  51. One Gypsy's Review of My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
  52. Selfie: When did the X-Rated porn word get a new meaning?
  53. Daily Writing Prompts (June 2017 Archive)
  54. Quaraun The Insane Volume 1: The Night of the Screaming Unicorn
  55. Random Generators by EelKat
  56. Autistic Characters In Fiction
  57. Keywords & Pigeons: How I Do Local Business Marketing
  58. Manuscript Reading Services or Will You Read My Book and Tell Me What You Think?
  59. How to Write Hot Sex - Tips For Erotic Romance Authors
  60. How can your books have gay transvestite characters and not be Erotica?
  61. KBoards, The NaNoWriMo ML Rumor & The Vindictive Stalker
  62. Captured By The Lich Lord | The Night of The Screaming Unicorn
  63. Incest In Fiction
  64. Maine UFO Sightings
  65. Page 11 - The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - The Scottish Traveller Crime Family
  66. The Southern Maine Writers Group
  67. Contact Info
  68. My Fave YouTubers Play: Dream Daddy - The Yaoi Dating Sim Otome Game
  69. Santa's Floating Dead Body | A Scene From The Summoner of Darkness
  70. Why Pink Humor Crude Adult Comedy Yaoi Is Not Erotica
  71. SideBar Archive Spring 2017
  72. The Dungeon Master & The 1974 AMC Gremlin
  73. Ideas, Ideas, Ideas (Where Do You Get Them?)
  74. Lives Destroyed: Amphibious Aliens 10th Anniversary Update
  75. Twighilight Not Twilight
  76. What exactly makes an Elf an Elf? (What is the definition of an Elf?)
  77. EelKat's Guide To NaNoWriMo Featuring The 13 Step Method To Writing
  78. A Motorhome named 'No Hurry' becomes Rosebud & The Story of Ten Kidnapped Cats
  79. BoomFuzzy's Gingerbread House From Hell
  80. An Elf and a Lich in the Gingerbread Pit | The Night of The Screaming Unicorn
  81. Gemstones in Gypsy Magic (A to C)
  82. Is The Quaraun Series Erotica? - No! Here's why...
  83. Pink Flowers Aesthetic on Pinterest
  84. Sheep | GhoulSpawn The Crazed & The Rose Garden of The Pink Necromancer
  85. You Stole My Idea - I was writing a book, but you already wrote it 10 years ago!
  86. A Day At Witch Pond & Fleeing To The Forest | Summoner of Darkness
  87. City of The Slushies | Chapter 1 | Quaraun The Insane
  88. Colour Magic - Gypsy Style
  89. Create Original Content aka I Hate Jackass Gutter Scum Thieves
  90. Lets Playing Is No Longer Fun
  91. Phookas
  92. The Signs Of Old Orchard Beach & The FBI Investigation Of The Town Hall
  93. Aspergers is NOT Autism
  94. Domain Name Branding: Should You Put Your Brand Name In Your URL?
  95. How is it that the church leaders are claiming you do not pay tithes?
  96. Summoner of Darkness: GhoulSpawn and Quaraun Trapped With A Phooka
  97. The Gypsies of Old Orchard Beach - page 2 (Online Release of Banned Book)
  98. Transgender, Transsexual, Transvestite, or Intersex: What Is Quaraun?
  99. Average Typing Speed
  100. How valuable is a writer’s group?
  101. Santa Claus: Lich Of The North Pole (Includes NSFW 18+ CBT Yaoi scene)



dancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing bananadancing banana

“Karma comes after everyone eventually. You can't get away with screwing people over your whole life, I don't care who you are. What goes around comes around. That's how it works. Sooner or later the universe will serve you the revenge that you deserve.” 

― Jessica Brody


"By autistic standards, the “normal” brain is easily distractible, is obsessively social, and suffers from a deficit of attention to detail and routine. Thus people on the spectrum experience the neurotypical world as relentlessly unpredictable and chaotic, perpetually turned up too loud, and full of people who have little respect for personal space." 

— Steve Silberman


never judge yourself, by the way a hater judges you, you are way better then they say you are, and they know it, that's why they are trying to bring you down to their level ~EelKat


Attempt Something New Today! – too many people talk about doing this or that but few actually take action, it's the why behind why so few succeed and so many fail.


Don't let a bully pretend they are the victim, their crocodile tears are just a deviant trick they use to hurt you even more, by convincing others to not help you.



Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you can sell him fishing gear for the rest of his life. 





Be the hero, not the bully.



Sheeeeeeep!

Fabulous and flamboyant...

who knew?




“If you're horrible to me, I'm going to write a song about it, and you won't like it. That's how I operate.” 

― Taylor Swift


Bullies should never force you to  suffer in silence. If someone has hurt you, let others know.



“One's dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” 
― Michael J. Fox



“I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.” 

― Abraham Lincoln


Advertisement:





“When people see you're happy doing what you're doing, it sort of takes the power away from them to tease you about it.” 

― Wendy Mass, Every Soul a Star





Ads by Share-A-Sale

“1. Bullying is not okay. Period.

2. Freedom of religion does not give you the right to physically or verbally assault people.

3. If your sincerely-held religious beliefs require you to bully children, then your beliefs are fucked up.” 

― Jim C. Hines