Word count limits don’t have to happen

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while.

I would say that the absolute upper limit of OK is 100,000 for a debut novel, but you’ll find some people turned off to it if it’s anything above 80,000.

I’m not making these numbers up from my experience–I’ve read identical stats on a lot of agent blogs. It’s pretty much an industry standard.

There is effectively a hard cap on the number of words you can have in your debut novel.  More words equals more expensive to print, and a new author is too risky.

That sucks.

Let’s assume that we’re talking about a book that 1) would have a reasonable audience if it were published, and 2) would be significantly harmed by chopping words off until it got under the cap.  That is, this cap is the only thing keeping it from being published.  So how do we fix this?  How do we get these books out where the author can make some money, and people can experience a book from a new author?

Well, the simple answer is to remove the risk.

Luckily, digital distribution and print-on-demand makes it much easier to do just that.  The up front costs are much lower, which allows the non-traditional publisher to take risks that a traditional publisher couldn’t dream of.  There are no expensive print runs, or extra books to be pulped.

If you’re interested, let us know.  We’re still on track for a November launch of ManfredMacx.com, and we’d love to talk to interested authors.

Introducing Manfred Macx

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you all to Manfred Macx, a new kind of publishing company.  It’s not a new idea – bands big and small have been doing it for a while, and authors are just starting to try.  But as more and more of our media of all kinds is being distributed digitally, where making an extra copy (or a thousand) is nearly instantaneous and effectively free, we have to rethink the way we compensate creators of content.

At Manfred Macx, the author has a book, and the author has a goal, a target dollar amount that unlocks the electronic version of the book.  The author can sell almost anything;  Paper copies of the book, dinner with the author at a fancy restaurant, a character in the book named after you – whatever.  When the target goal is reached, everyone gets the ebook.

Beyond that, Manfred Macx is creating a community around authors and fans, fostering communication and connection in ways that weren’t possible before the internet changed our lives.

Watch this space for updates, or sign up for the mailing list.  We’re looking for authors right now, and expect the site to go live in November.