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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just told by another author that I'm unprofessional because I included word count in my blurb for my short story Dual. 

I included word count because of a thread here that said readers were leaving comments on reviews stating they expected certain stories to have been longer.  Another author had the readers weigh in on this and the majority of them wanted word count. 

I don't know what to think, but I sure don't like being told that Indie books, and mine in particular, look unprofessional and that this practice give indies a bad name.  What do you all think?  Leave it there or take it out?

It is sad when people are so rigid in their beliefs that they have to insult a fellow author.  Hurtful too. :(
 

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Their comment to you was unprofessional. Smashwords does this automatically. Does that make everybody who publishes through SW unprofessional? Please.

Sorry to hear that another author treated you this way, JeanneM :(
 
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You can't be a creampuff if you're going to be successful. Laugh at such remarks. They're only hurtful if you CHOOSE to allow them to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Todd and Mike.  :)

I wrote and explained to her why I had done it and she shot back an email with links to Grisham's and Stephen King's stories and told me to tell her where they put word count in.

I didn't reply and don't intend to.
 

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I've started adding word count to all my blurbs. (I'm currently prepping the blurb for my oftentimes free short, to release that, too.)

You'll always be deemed "unprofessional" by somebody. Your ideal reader is someone who is happy with your short story, and you're more likely to get such readers by adding the word count. Readers do ask for word counts, after all (and it's 1 item in the long list of "Why Carradee shops indie on Smashwords".)

Readers have asked for the word counts.

So add 'em. :)

In this case, the lady seems to have a delusional sense of "If X is doing it, it must be right!" Which ignores the detail that big-name authors actually have a lot more room to screw up and still sell well. (I could list some big names with shoddy covers as a case in point, but that would be rude.)

I'm told all the time that 2 spaces after a period isn't appropriate; I ignore such comments. I've read lines where 2 spaces to indicate a new sentence would've done wonders for the clarity. I even prefer the appearance of the 2 spaces.

Now, if a freelance client wants one space, I'll use Find…Replace to change the document before I send it, but when I have a choice, I'll use the 2 spaces. By default, HTML ignores that second space, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Carradee, I'm with you on the spacing thing too.  :)

I'm glad I'm in good company here at KB.  You guys really do rock!
 

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I also include word counts on short stories, along with an approximate page count if it were printed. I want people to know what to expect. And "unprofessional" is one of those terms people throw around when they're amateurs at something and want to make other people feel bad.
 

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And that could just very well be their opinion about that. I have a very short story and I disclosed the word count. I did it because  wanted my reader's to know what they are purchasing. Mine is less than 3000 words. I can not say it is unprofessional on my part, but that is not my intent, but you can definitely appreciate someone for being fair. From what I see as a reader you went out of your way to make sure I was informed and that is professional. Btw I really liked the cover for Dual, I will be checking it out.
 

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I read the same thing and added the word count to my novel.  I think it's a good idea to let readers know the word count, I even included the number of chapters and when the sequel would be out.  So don't worry about one person's opinion, trust yourself and you'll be fine.  :)
 

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I put "Length: Short Story (8000 words)" or words to that effect on all my erotic stuff-- most of which is very short-- and have never been informed that I was being unprofessional.  (It still doesn't stop some readers from leaving reviews saying it's too short and that I should have marked it as a short story-- readers do not always read the description, clearly!)  It seems sensible to let the reader know what s/he is getting to me.  I can't see why that would be unprofessional.
 

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Every book on amazon that has the search inside feature includes something called text stats, which includes word count. As a reader, I get annoyed when there aren't word counts. I hate when I have to try to estimate them from file size or location number, but that's always the info I'm trying to get at: word count.

Whoever said that to you was definitely unprofessional, and possibly mean-spirited. Sounds like it wasn't really about your blurb, or about whether to include word count or whatever, but something else. Best advice is probably to ignore him/her, but honestly, if it were me, I'd be very tempted to send a snarky reply with a link to one of those Text stats pages. But that's because I have a temper, and frequent lapses of judgment.

Also, for a short story? Definitely put the word count! You don't want people getting miffed bc they expected 40k novella and got a 15k short!

JeanneM said:
Thanks Todd and Mike. :)

I wrote and explained to her why I had done it and she shot back an email with links to Grisham's and Stephen King's stories and told me to tell her where they put word count in.

I didn't reply and don't intend to.
 

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Readers want word counts for ebooks. I answer to my readers, not random, drive-by critics.

Keep the readers happy. Keep em comin' back.
 

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I definitely put word count on my short stories as well as on my novel  :).  It's all about setting the right expectation for the reader.

That is, in fact, professional.
 

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I always include word count in my blurbs. I like to know what I'm getting, so I return the favor. I don't know how many times I've bought something that I thought would be a full-length novel (because of price) and it turned out to be about 10K words. I wasn't very happy, so I put it in there. Besides, I really don't see how it can be unprofessional. Paperbacks include how many pages they are (heck, they even give the give the dimensions of the page and the weight of the book) so why shouldn't I give a figure that helps potential readers know what they're getting.

I've actually been thanked by a few readers for doing this.
 

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I'm really surprised that someone would bother to harrass you over such a thing! I also put word count on my short story, to emphasize it's a short. If I were Stephen King, of course, I could do whatever I want :) and I'd still put a word count. I suspect Mr. King doesn't write his own story blurbs for Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I just had to run an errand and came back to all this loveliness.  Thank you all so very much. 

I feel so much better and can now ignore the comment, knowing how my fellow authors and readers feel.

I'm overwhelmed at the support I find here.  :)
 

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I will add that Stephen King might be a bad example for the other author to use. When he released Blockade Billy, I seem to remember numerous reviews complaining that it was too short. A word count in the description might have helped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
EllenFisher said:
I will add that Stephen King might be a bad example for the other author to use. When he released Blockade Billy, I seem to remember numerous reviews complaining that it was too short. A word count in the description might have helped.
LOL...that is good to know.

Hey, maybe I can now say I was compared to Stephen King! LOL Kidding of course....but.... ;D
 

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GARBAGE!  Cover your eyes, and move on.  :)

I commend you for putting the word count in your description!  How worse would it be if someone bought the story thinking it was a book and gave you a bad review because of that... think about it... I think it's respective to readers to have word counts for short bodies of work so they understand what they are getting for the price.

Shake it off and go write the next bestseller!

-jb 8)
 

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JeanneM said:
Hey, maybe I can now say I was compared to Stephen King! LOL Kidding of course....but.... ;D
That made me laugh, do it, its not like you would be lying! :D
I agree with everyone else, word count is fine in the blurb, actually its very helpful, keep doing it.
 
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