Is There a Right Book Length?

Big BookHow long should a book be? Epic novels of 800 or more pages can be very daunting to some people. They fear they’ll never finish them. I like a good epic novel; I get all wrapped up in the characters and I want to find out what happens to them. But they do take a long time to read and if it’s a book that tends to drag on and on, I begin to feel as though it is keeping me from getting to other books in my large unread pile. Short stories are my least favorite, I always want to know more and am rarely satisfied with a short story. My ideal length is somewhere between 200 and 400 pages. I can usually finish a book of that length in a week or less and move on to the next one. Aside from my large stack of unread printed books, I have dozens of ebooks sitting on my Kindle. They’re all there, patiently waiting for me to get to them. So what’s your ideal book length?

What I’ve Learned About Editing

I’ve always known how important  editing is. We first learn about it in school when we write book reports, essays, etc. I  review what I’ve written whenever I’ve finished a paragraph. When I finish a chapter, I review it. Then when the first draft is complete, I read the entire thing from the beginning, correcting errors as I go. When I’m done, I start again at the beginning and repeat the process. My plan is to keep repeating the process until I get through the whole manuscript without finding any errors. That never seems to happen. There is always a typo or something that I feel can be better said. Other authors tell me they experience this as well. I have a few friends read over my manuscripts and they always find a few errors I’ve missed. On my third book, Gray Cloud, I hired an editor. More errors were found and corrected. The book was at last published on Kindle. Then I submitted it for publication in print form. When I received my first proof copy I read it once more. Guess what? I found more errors! I corrected them and resubmitted. The second proof copy has arrived and I am currently going through it, and yes, I’ve found a few more errors. I’ve come to the conclusion that editing is never complete. It does give me a small amount of comfort when I read books by popular authors and discover that they too have errors.

Gray Cloud now available!

Gray Cloud, the third book in the Captive Hearts series, is now available in Kindle. It will be available in print form on or before August 15, 2012. The story of Carrie and her family continues in this book and has an exciting cliffhanger ending.

I’ve already begun the next book, Hawk. The first chapter is included at the end of Gray Cloud.  For new readers, I’ve gone back and included the first chapter of Eagle’s Wish at the end of Captive Hearts,  and the first chapter of Gray Cloud at the end of Eagle’s Wish.

Hawk is already shaping up into an exciting addition to the series. Happy reading and I look forward to hearing from you!