Here’s a question for all you published authors out there. And agents. And editors. Really, anyone who knows more about writing than I do which is just about everyone.

Which word count formula should one really use for a query letter?

Granted, I’m not at the querying stage just yet, but the writing conference I just went to threw me for a loop. We were told by an agent that the maximum word count for historical fiction is 80,000. I had always heard 100,000, but I figure there must be a range. Either way, my finished WIP was at 120,000 words and is still being trimmed.

However, the waters get even murkier when one takes into consideration the fact that word count will vary wildly depending on how you count it. According to Word, my WIP currently sits at a cozy 107,000 words. But if you use the 250 words per page that many agents mention, it right under 100,000.

So if I were done could I just say 100,000 and call it good? Please? 🙂