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I have written the initial drafts for the first two novels in my series. Originally, I split the story into two parts because the entire manuscript was 150,000 words. Two 75,000-word novels sounds great, right?

So, I took my first 75k-word novel and did two more drafts. Lots of content editing, etc. And now, part 1 is only 55k words. Yikes. I guess I'm very wordy.

The first draft of Part 2 is still 75k words... but I imagine that it will also shrink once it goes through the necessary drafts.

I know that 55k words isn't really novel-length (it's technically over the 50k-word minimum, but the vast majority of novels are much longer).

Which is better for a first-time author... two 55k-word novels, or a single 110k-word novel?

P.S. My target genre is YA historical fiction / fantasy.

  • This question feels a tad subjective to be answerable, perhaps you could edit the question to be something like "what is a typical target word count for [genre]"? That is easier to research and answer for. – Sciborg Jul 2 at 3:09
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    If you are e-publishing, you can do both, and publish The Caspian Chronicles: Volume I for $X, The Caspian Chronicles: Volume II for $X, and The Caspian Chronicles: The Omnibus Edition for $X * 1.8. – EvilSnack Jul 2 at 5:32
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    Related, although talking about an opposite scenario the advice still applies – ArtickokeAndAnchovyPizzaMonica Jul 2 at 7:38
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That is mainly a question for your publisher. They have better insights what is the best way to sell in what market. In some countries they might prefer a single volume, while they go for a two volume print elsewhere.

But if you target young adults you should focus on e-book publishing. There are hardly any good reasons to split it then. As a reader I see no benefits at all. You might achieve slightly higher sales because people easily buy two cheaper items instead of one item that is more expensive.

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