Counting Words

Your Royal Snarkiness of the Steel-Toed Stilettos,
If it would not humble you too far, would you please enlighten us (unworthy wretches that we are) of your views on word count (especially at the shorter end of the spectrum).

Leaving aside the oddly disturbing format of the question, let's cut right to the chase.

Miss Snark's favorite seven words:
Dedicated to Miss Snark, literary agent extraordinaire.

Miss Snark's' favorite six words:
Michiko Kakutani gives it a rave!

Miss Snark's favorite five words:
Mr. Clooney on line one!

Miss Snark's favorite four words:
We have a deal.

Miss Snark's favorite three words:
Six figure pre-empt.

Miss Snark's favorite two words:
unlimited budget

Miss Snark's favorite word:


kitty said...


Existential Man said...

Could be your most clever post of all in response to a question.You nicely re-framed a mundane question.

Mac said...

I've been lurking for a couple of months. I just wanted to say that I think you're obviously quite fabulous.

Oh--and thank you.

Brady Westwater said...

In response to your actual query, let me fruitfully mine the snarkives:

... anything under 50,000 is going to make me look up how to spell "novella". Books get too small and people aren't willing to pay $23.50.

Miss Snark said...

I love it!!!
Now, if I can just figure out how to index them!
Thanks Brady...

E. Dashwood said...

On Bullshit, 84 pages, $9.95 (before discount), bestseller.

Jessica Madden said...

Question -- what exactly is a pre-empt? I've seen the phrase bandied about, but still have no clue as to what it truly is.

Diana Peterfreund said...

EDashwood, it was also nonfiction -- not a novella. And a university press, which is used to publishing people's 100-page theses as books. Very different market.

Though I'm sure we can come up with fiction exceptions as well. There are always going to be exceptions. Doesn't mean they are going to be easy sells or the best thing to break into the market with. Five People You Meet in Heaven was pretty short, but Albom already had Tuesdays with Morrie under his belt.

Miss Snark said...

Pre-empt: the amount of money a publisher offers so you won't sell the project to anyone else.

E. Dashwood said...

Most notable exception is probably "The Old Man and the Sea," 128 pages. Of course that was Hemingway. The book was the one cited for his Nobel, which doesn't mean anything since they usually cite books that are well past an author's glory days.

Preempt. Vito Corleone to Tom Hagen: "Let's make Johnny an offer he can't refuse."

Brady Westwater said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brady Westwater said...

You already have your very own snarkdex - it's the this 'search this blog' box at the top of your page.

Richard said...

I have a serious question. I would like to dedicate my next book to my oldest friend, whom I've known for 47 years since first grade. She is a fairly well-known literary agent. But she is not MY literary agent; she's my friend. My book will be published by a small press; her clients' books are, well, in a lot better company. Do you think my friend will think that by dedicating my book to her that I am implying she is my literary agent? (She is smart enough not to handle literary fiction; that's why she's rich!) Or will she just be touched? I'll leave off the "literary agent extraordinaire" tag, of course.

Miss Snark said...

"For Hortense, my friend since first grade" without her last name, and certainly without her profession listed should do the trick. I think she'd be tickled pink. Or at least mauve.