Gayla Drummond

My Goal Progress

2017 Minimum Word Count Goal
Due:6 months
2017 Bonus Word Count Challenge
Due:6 months

On Page Counts

FYI: Amazon’s page count for ebooks is not exactly accurate.

Out of curiosity (okay, after seeing a review complaining about the low page counts for the Discord books), I did the math for each of my titles.

Amazon’s average words per page run from 336.8 to 205.7 words per page (at least for my titles). Ah, 130.1 words is kind of a *big* difference when it comes to determining page count.

Ex. Hunter’s Edge. It’s my longest work at 71,912 words.

According to Amazon, it’s got a page count of 235 (that’s 306 words per page).

At 336.8 words per page, it’d be 214 pages long.

At 205.7 words per page, it’d be 350 pages long. <HUGE difference, yes?

Let’s say I did write a 110k word story. It would be either 327 pages (336.8 words per page) or 535 pages long (205.7 word per page). Or somewhere in between, depending on what arbitrary math Amazon did to come up with its page count.

When it comes to physical formats, the choice of font, font size, line spacing, whitespace, trim size, etc. play a *huge* part in what the resulting page count will be.

I use the 6 x 9 inch trim size. With my choice of font/font size, line spacing, and whitespace on new chapter pages/last chapter pages, I’d have to add roughly 30k-40k more words to each Discord story to hit 300 pages for that trim size.

And I wouldn’t advise holding your breath for a 100k-plus word novel from me. I have ONE project that may eventually end up with about that many words. Maybe.

Since I use Createspace for paperbacks, I have a FAR more limited choice of trim sizes than traditional publishers do. And I’m not going to change the trim size, because then the paperbacks won’t sit in a nice, straight line on bookshelves.

Traditional publishers have set word counts for books, depending on genres, and those word counts are based on the cost of production.

That’s one of the joys of being an indie: I’m not forced to meet certain word counts (which can result in padding the story by repetitive description or reintroducing every damn character each time they appear in each book–looking at you, LKH) in order to publish.

There are only two reasons I track word count:

1) It’s a progress meter that helps me feel I’m being productive, and

2) so I’ll know if I wrote a short story, novelette, novella, or novel length work and can accurately describe each work by those categorizations.

So there you go, a little behind the scenes info you probably don’t care about, but may interest you to know. 🙂


Bye, 2016. Hello, 2017!

It’s time for an end of year post, and as usual, I’m running late. Hah!

Aside from word count and new releases, I don’t even remember what my goals were for 2016 and I’m too lazy to look to remind myself.

2016 Verdict: Ugh.

The good: The shelter adoption program I’ve been volunteering for saved 232 animals! I did release 4 titles, 3 brand new and 1 a revised older work that I’d retired about 4 years ago. I started The Fiction Tavern, my subscription-only website that I’m posting some WIPs to, and that’s actually going pretty well too.

The bad: I missed my adjusted word count goal of 150,000 words by 21,010 (but I’m okay with that).

In short, it was not my year on the writing front. There was the annual Sick Out (which lasted two months thanks to both the flu laying all 3 of us down and a bout of severe allergies), and things just went downhill from there as far as being able to muster any creative energy and keep it going steadily.  Which means I’m surprised I hit my goal of releasing 4 titles.

It didn’t help that from July on, things seemed to go a bit wonky in Amazon land, and my rapidly falling sales were helped only a bit by the release of Just Like Magic (Discord Jones 7) in July, and practically not at all by the releases of Immortalis (Terran Exodus: Eden V #1) in October, or Code Walker in December.

No sense in boring everyone with the details, but I wasn’t the only author who noticed something seemed to be going on or who saw their sales/page reads drop (not that I have titles in Kindle Select). However, I would like to say “Thank you!” to everyone who did give my new releases a chance this year. I’m sorry I didn’t get a 2nd Discord out for y’all. 🙁

I’ve been assured by several readers, some via email, others via Facebook, that they aren’t tired of Discord’s adventures quite yet. On the other hand, I’ve been kind of burned out when it comes to that series, so failed miserably to finish Of Gods & Tigers and still have a lot of writing to do before finishing it happens.

Then again, I was kind of burned out all year long. You wouldn’t think sitting on your butt and pulling words out of your brain year after year would be exhausting. Surprisingly, it is.

Here’s hoping 2017 is my Year of All the Creative Energy.

2017 Goals

Word count: I have a minimum word count goal of 150,000, and a secondary challenge to hit 520,000 words total. I will be happy to make the first goal, and everything after those first 150k words will be gravy.

Writing Days: To write 2,000 words daily 260 days out of 365. That would mean reaching my secondary challenge goal of 520k words. I will be quite happy to write on more than 95 days, which was my horrible 2016 result.

New Releases Goal: Since I managed 4 new releases in 2016, I’m gonna go for 6 in 2017, with 10 releases as my bonus goal. Discord #8 and #9 are two of those releases.

The Fiction Tavern Goals: I hope to finish 4 of my older works in progress and 1 Build-a-Story. Those works may be the bonus releases that make that 10 new releases goal happen. And they would be a great first full year result for the Tavern.

Volunteering Goals: I can’t really set a goal for this, but let’s hope one of two things happen. 1) That we don’t get so many dogs and cats in the shelter this year. 2) That we’re able to save more if we do see an increase, or almost all of them if we don’t.

And with that, I’m gonna hit the hay for the night. Happy New Year to all!