How many words makes a book?

I crossed the threshold of 30,000 words today on my second work in progress.

This is a milestone for me. I’m thinking this manuscript will be 35,000 words in total. Since I’m adding at least two dozen full-page photos, I’m satisfied with 35,000 words.

Still, the National Novel Writing Month threshold for a “complete” book is 50,000 words. Am I short?

Every story takes what it takes to tell. In the age of e-books, any length can be a “book.” I’m working on a project with something close to 18,000 words — definitely a book. Another project has 45,000 words — nearly 200 pages in a 6-by-9-inch format — of course it’s a book.

Some stories take 12,000 words to tell, some 120,000. In my mind, those are the extremes. Less than 12,000 is a booklet (still viable for sale though) and more than 120,000 is a series.

In any case, I’m nearing the end (or the beginning of the end). I’m excited!


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