I submitted a query and was told my book is too short for mainstream publishing, as it comes in around 25,000 words. Does anyone have feedback for how many words are needed, or how to get a "small book" published?

  • Tammy, welcome to Writers. This question already has been asked, in a more general form, so I've closed this as a duplicate. Please feel free to stick around and ask more questions; our site tour may be helpful. Best of luck with your novel and I hope to hear more about it. Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


The common figure for the length of a novel (since before I started submitting for publication in the early 1980s) was a minimum of about fifty thousand words. Below that figure, between twenty thousand and fifty thousand was a "novella" and between ten thousand and twenty thousand a "novelette".

In today's environment of electronic self-publishing, a novella can be published as a stand-alone work, but a publishing house may not want such a work because it costs about as much to produce as a novel, but can't be sold for the same cover price.

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