do and don't

Rounding your word count (plus exceptions)

When you write the word count of your novel, round to the nearest thousand. I don’t care exactly how many words there are. I want to get an idea of its size because too big or too small earns a rejection.

I once almost sent a rejection before realizing I read the word count wrong. This can happen, but it’s more likely when writers give me a random jumble of five or six digits.

There was an exception in the query inbox today. One author had put 99,889 as their word count.

Much as that would usually annoy me, this time it made me laugh. I know they worked their ass off to get below six digits. They didn’t want me to think otherwise.

It gave me a good chuckle. As I say with every guideline: if you can do it well, I don’t care if you break the rules.

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