Topic: Novella vs novel lengths
I've been googling book lengths recently as I try to decide if I want to reduce my trilogy of three books into three novella-length parts of one big book because it's taking too long to research/write three books. I found some interesting numbers and am curious to know if these seem correct:
- typical range for a novel is 80K - 100K words
- typical range for a thriller (my genre) is 70K - 90K words
- over 110K is considered too long for a work of fiction (says who?)
- the range for a novella is 20K - 40K words
There's no way I could squeeze my entire story into three 40K novellas (120K words total) since the first draft of book one is likely to be 100K - 125K words. It would need massive trimming just to cut the word count in half.
For comparison, here are some specific numbers:
- Dune is 188K words, divided into three parts, or ~60K words per part (compare to the novella range above)
- The Lord of the Rings books range from 137K - 188K words, averaging 160K each
- The Harry Potter books range from 77K - 257K words, averaging about 155K each
- Dan Brown's Angels & Demons is an estimated 155K - 185K words (a Catholic thriller, like mine).
I suppose one option is to squeeze parts two and three of my story into a book 2, but the Bible's Book of Revelation (on which my story is based) is really only starting to roll around the end of my book one.
Since I will almost certainly self-publish, I could throw maximum word limits out the window, but publishing costs (e.g., editing and printing) go up with wordcount, and there's only so much you can charge if all the books next to yours on Amazon are selling for less.