I have been reading a lot of competition entries lately and see varying word counts on the summaries.
I am curious to know: what do you think are the limits for a word count for a debut author seeking representation? I am specifically talking YA but if anyone wants to weigh in with NA/MG/Adult ideas, do.
For YA I have gone by the rule of thumb greater than 60k and less than 100k are a good spot to aim for. Shorter or longer than that raises flags, was my understanding.
I got this useful link (thanks to EllieWrites who linked to it) which says:
MG: 25-40k (average 35)
YA: 45-80k for mainstream, up to 120 for paranormal but under 100 best.
They have guidelines for adult genres too if you are interested. It is just one ex-agent's take, but interesting.
It seems to be for MG 35/40k and for YA 60/70k are safe word counts to 'aim for' and that genre may make a difference.
ETA: The best word count is the minimum you need to *tell your story* without being overlong and without leaving out key factors, of course. I am talking here I guess about a) whether too short/long hinders you getting representation and b) whether having a too short/long MS should raise a red flag to you that you perhaps haven't cut enough or put enough in....?
Any opinions? Do you plan for a specific word count when you start? Do your books always come out the same? Do you add if your YA is say 45k or cut if it's 120k?
Interested to know!