Analyzing a few books, part three

Here we are, dear readers, at the thrilling culmination of our weeks of research and curiosity.  Today we uncover the most sacred of knowledge- how long should a cozy be?

For the most part, I hear that contracts for cozies want you to write between 75,000 and 95,000 words, as I’ve said before.  But that’s too easy, so today I’m going to count the pages on all 17 books we’ve been using, and pick a random page for a word count.  Because I am just that dedicated.  Some of these books have tidbits at the back, like recipes or hints for their respective settings.  If they’ve got pages numbers, I’m going to include them:

  • Book One– 314 pages / 325 words   102,000
  • Book Two– 365 pages / 304 words   111,000
  • Book Three– 268 pages / 271 words   73,000
  • Book Four– 294 pages / 291 words   86,000
  • Book Five– 292 pages / 300 words   88,000
  • Book Six– 375 pages / 254 words   95,000
  • Book Seven–  244 pages / 295 words   72,000
  • Book Eight–  314 pages / 239 words   75,000
  • Book Nine–  295 pages / 293 words   86,000
  • Book Ten– 265 pages / 268 words   71,000
  • Book Eleven– 327 pages / 294 words   96,000
  • Book Twelve– 273 pages / 313 words   85,000
  • Book Thirteen– 277 pages / 343 words   95,000
  • Book Fourteen– 297 pages / 292 words   87,000
  • Book Fifteen– 291 pages / 345 words   100,000
  • Book Sixteen– 310 pages / 247 words   77,000
  • Book Seventeen– 294 pages / 286 words    84,000

(A MASSIVE thanks to Kevin, who helped me count words after I got to book six and started whining.  Folks, if you don’t want to spend your weekend afternoons doing monotonous tasks like counting words in novels, don’t marry a writer.)

With this info, we can do the NaNo math trick of multiplying one to the other to get a rough word count.  (Very rough, but workable.)  I rounded to the nearest thousand to get a nice, neat number.

Book Two may be the longest here, with a word count somewhere around 110,000.  According to what I’ve heard, that’s extremely unusual for a cozy- editors don’t think cozy readers have that kind of attention span.  In my case, they may be correct.

The shortest ones are down in the low 70,000s, which is much more likely where my manuscript is going to end up, if I make it that far.  A couple of these published books are there though, so I don’t feel too awkward.  In general, 70-90k does seem to be the neighborhood to shoot for.

Well, that was fun.  Does anyone feel like they learned something?  I feel pretty good my frustratingly short style won’t be too out of place, should I ever get published.


P.S.  My manuscript has reached 57,092!

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