Q – I'm working on a novel, but need to know how many words it should be. Do publishers expect certain lengths for different genres or does it make any difference?
A – You are wise to check before completing your book. The answer is Yes, they do have certain length expectations depending on genre. You will want to check the writers' guidelines for any publisher you plan to target, but the typical lengths are as follows: contemporary 55,000 words; westerns 60,000 words; historicals 75,000 words; suspense/thrillers 85,000-90,000 words; and epics 120,000 words. Keep in mind that if this is your first novel, you must complete it before submitting it to an agent or a publisher.